An Artistic Glance: The Past Presents the Future

%28Front+row+L+to+R%29+Chiara+Solitario%2C+Bella+Chua%2C+%28back+row+L+to+R%29+Megan+Zendek%2C+Katie+Wright%2C+and+Julia+Cline+pose+by+the+mural+they+helped+create+over+the+summer.%0APhoto+courtesy+of+Chiara+Solitario.

(Front row L to R) Chiara Solitario, Bella Chua, (back row L to R) Megan Zendek, Katie Wright, and Julia Cline pose by the mural they helped create over the summer. Photo courtesy of Chiara Solitario.

(Front row L to R) Chiara Solitario, Bella Chua, (back row L to R) Megan Zendek, Katie Wright, and Julia Cline pose by the mural they helped create over the summer. Photo courtesy of Chiara Solitario.
(Front row L to R) Chiara Solitario, Bella Chua, (back row L to R) Megan Zendek, Katie Wright, and Julia Cline pose by the mural they helped create over the summer.
Photo courtesy of Chiara Solitario.

By Meilan Solly

The horses race into view first. Seated upon them are Native Americans showing defiant expressions and yielding bows and arrows. Curiously enough, to the left of these riders stands a giant husky and a modern building.

The scene painted above now adorns a wall in the 300 hallway, part of an effort to beautify the school led by seniors Chiara Solitario, Bella Chua, and Julia Cline.

At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, Solitario came up with the original idea for the mural, saying she was “tired of the white, boring, blank walls at Tuscarora.” She then contacted Chua and Cline, and together the three worked to create a design that would represent Tuscarora’s heritage.

“The school represents the present, while the Tuscarora Native Americans represent the history behind the land the school is on, as well as the name of our school,” Solitario said, referring to the fact that Tuscarora Native Americans once occupied the area that is now Tuscarora High School.

Cline added, “We also knew we needed a picture of the mascot.”

Once the design was created, the three met with Principal Mrs. Jacobs, who originally approved a plan for painting the mural in the cafeteria. However, at the end of the year the class of 2013’s senior handprints were painted there instead, leaving the newly proposed mural for the 300 hallway.

After gaining approval for the project, Solitario, Chua, and Cline formed a larger group of helpers and set about acquiring supplies and creating a schedule for actually painting the mural.

For the first three weeks of summer, three to four people came to the school every day in order to help paint. Those who weren’t artistically inclined painted blocks of color and general shapes. Cline, the main artist, added shadowing and painted the horses, while another artist, senior Katie Wright, painted the Native Americans.

Over the weeks, the group faced several challenges. “The school probably has seven layers of paint because we would paint it the wrong color, or run out of a color, or it wouldn’t be good enough to [meet] our standards,” Solitario said. “The horses were started on day one and then finished the last day. They took the longest [because] it was really difficult to capture the movement and make sure the proportions were right.”

In the end, however, the project was successfully completed. So far, Cline and Solitario believe the response to the mural has been positive.

“I think people like it, which is good,” Cline said. “There’s not much competition.”

Solitario added that during the painting process teachers often commented that they liked the mural, and since school has started, friends have also voiced praise.

“The mural is colorful and represents what we want it to: our heritage,” Solitario said. “Hopefully it will inspire others to pick a wall and do their own [mural.] It makes me proud to know that after I graduate this year, my name will still be up for a long time.”

It seems that Solitario’s hope to inspire others may be coming true sooner than she believed. Jordon Greene, a freshman, likes the mural because “it has really nice details,” and also mentioned that he would love to see a sports-related mural at Tuscarora. Junior Matt Turner agreed, saying his dream mural is one of “our school’s greatest moments, maybe a big win in a football game, which [I think] hasn’t happened yet. I’m holding out for a win over Briar Woods.”