As time goes on, Woodland Park High School is filled with more and more character. Not only due to the classes, staff, and students, but the halls themselves have developed each year. What once started out as blank, boring walls, are now covered in colorful, creative creations made from students. In Mrs. Ray’s college bound independent class each student makes a mural.
If you are interested in making one, but have a tight schedule, no worries, you can sign up for the class any period of the day. Students don’t just start painting on the wall, they first have to fill out a proposal form found at the main office, or Mrs. Ray. The form verifies the timeline, materials needed, and theme of the project. Once it is approved by the school board and administration, the idea comes to life. Although the provided canvas may be big, it doesn’t stop the students. Mrs. Ray says, “The murals show the kids how to work with the community, if they want to be part of the panther pride, they work in the main part of the school, if they want to show who they are independently they either find a teacher who supports or works in back hallway.”
Every year when more and more murals are created, not only more color is added to the school, but Mrs. Ray gets more and more stories. When students were creating the panther in the main gym from the upper 2d, 3d class, they wanted to gift something to the school. Like any other mural project, they went to the school board and administration and their fundings were approved. People don’t realize the fact that they created a special presentation for the funds, and even had to rent a lift in order to reach every space. On top of that, the artist had to wait until after all the basketball players were done practicing to start their painting; they were often working in the gym until eleven at night. In the future, Mrs. Ray hopes to add another mural in the athletic hallway to go along with the octopus that was made to “activate the space”. And, as more activities are offered at the school, the mural by the library will expand to include them. Lastly, from first glance you may not know, but the tree mural is special because every college bound student has signed their name on it.
The project may seem intimidating, but with time and creativity, whatever the student thinks comes to life. Not only in the school, but you can still spot when Mrs. Ray used to do murals in town. There are some by the ATV store, and daycare. The beautiful murals have been part of our school for so long, and Mrs. Ray plans to fill our school with even more color in the future. She says “Kids art has always been really important to bring the community together” and, “The more kids that make art and do it to show themselves I think the better people see high school kids are creative”