“Honorable” Graffiti

Karina Kosmala, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Giving a new, legal twist on graffiti art, National Arts Honors Society and Art Club students painted the Franklin Park mural on Saturday October 24, 2015 for Make a Difference Day. The mural was the first of what participants hope will be many service art projects. The newly-formed Honors Society is supposed to be “less about doing art projects that the art club would do, and more about, like doing community based service art projects, beautifying the community and making art more accessible,” according to art teacher Ms. Adrianne Nix.

The mural is 2 feet by 16 feet and displayed on the concrete block at Franklin and 25th Avenue. Making sure that the words line up, stencils were used for Franklin Park, Illinois, Est. 1892, and the Leyden Logo. The Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA trademark, the Franklin Park Park District logo, and the famous Railroad Daze logo were drawn by hand by the students.

Originally, the sketches were supposed to then be filled in using bright exterior (latex) paint; however, because of the on-and-off rain conditions it proved difficult for the paint to stay within the letters and logo. Even without battling the rain, the mural presents its own unique challenges as an art project.

Yanesi Pena and Stephanie Carreno believed the difficult part was “trying to stay in the lines and making sure the paint doesn’t smear.”

According to Acela Goray, the “difficulty [was] keeping the stencil in place and making sure letters line up,” since the mural was done on a vertical platform versus a horizontal platform.

Other students jokingly replied that the difficult part of this project was “squatting,” mentioning that they are “not ready for this type of exercise.”

Even when each student had his own individual part on this mural, a letter or logo, and effectively worked hard to make the mural come alive, the effort was not enough to beat the rain conditions which worsened, and made the students along with Ms. Nix and Ms. Reed come to the conclusion that they would stop working on the mural and return to it some other day.

Besides the mural, the new National Arts Honors Society held both at East and West will be dedicated to bringing art to the community. Member Mariel Labajos mentioned that she is “happy that we have a club that is dedicated to sharing our talents with the community.”

Ms. Nix mentioned  the purpose of the society is to “bring art to the community…beautifying the community and making art more accessible.”

Labajos explained, “Art is kind of under-appreciated these days. People really take it for granted, given that you see it literally everywhere you go.” On the other hand, the National Arts Honors Society approaches art by helping bring art  to the larger spectrum, but maintaining their artistic vision. In the meantime, the mural is yet to be finished.