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Art Club Paints A New Mural

Art club students have been working hard this spring to decorate the weight room with a new mural.
Dave Derrig and Matthew Shiarla run art club at Wadsworth High School. Each year, they work with their students on large projects to decorate the building.
For several months now they have been helping their students create a new mural for the school. Students gather after school hours and on weekends in Shiarla’s classroom to work on the project. They decided to paint a grizzly bear, Wadsworth’s signature mascot. It will be going downstairs in the weight room.
“The bear is going to be life-size,” Shiarla said. “Grizzly bears are pushing ten feet tall, so the mural itself is going to be eight feet by ten feet.”

Luke Schlueter (left) and Allison Schilling (right) work on the grizzly bear mural, which will go in the weight room They typically paint after school and on weekends. Photo by Grace Sharp.

Students have been working hard on the mural during the last few meetings. They sketched out the design on a large piece of paper and transferred that drawing onto large pieces of wood, then they began painting it. The last step of the process will involve putting the pieces together to form the entire mural. A maintenance crew will then come into the building to hang the piece.“We’ll probably have it done in the next month,” Derrig said. “It’d be nice if the kids in the weight room are able to see it before the end of the school year.”
Art club has been creating murals to display at Wadsworth High School for several years. It was founded by Derrig, who ran the club by himself for two years before it became official.
“The original idea of art club was for students to get together to create group works of art, instead of individual pieces,” Derrig said. “It’s more of a community-based idea.”
While students continue to create murals for the school, the process itself is not easy. Plenty of work goes into making a mural and Shiarla and Derrig also have to figure out what materials to use.
“It varies a lot, depending on whether we’re doing ceramic or paint,” Shiarla said. “But in both cases, we typically use plywood as our backing.”
Art club will continue to meet every week before the school year ends. When the mural has been completed, students will be able to see it as they work out. Until then, art club members will keep painting and working together to complete the bear.

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