Students paint American Heart Association mural

Few high school artists are given the opportunity to display their works outside of academia. Central students Eva Cassidy, Sofia Di Lorenzo, Ella Jaksha, Olivia Kiefer and Owen Moeller had this unique opportunity this past month.  

A representative from the American Heart Association reached out to Central in late September 

 hoping to recruit student artists to commission a mural showing support for women with heart disease that would be displayed at an upcoming American Heart Association event. 

Students who participated in this project are all involved in Central’s art program, however, few of them had any previous experience working on a mural before.  

The mural would be displayed at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women event, the theme of which was Reclaim Your Rhythm. Senior Owen Moeller said, “We wanted to bring in our artistic vision while also sticking to the theme of showing support for women with heart disease.”  

Junior Ella Jaksha said, “We obviously aren’t heart disease experts,” while the muralist’s interpretation was certainly present in the work, their ideas originated from The American Heart Association’s vision.  

Moeller said, “The mural was nothing like I had ever done before, and I’m grateful for how this mural pushed my artistic boundaries. Most of my art is in black and white pen with little to no deeper message. For this mural, I had to completely change my process and think about how color, subject and placement would affect the overall message of the mural.” 

The final image has beautiful hues of red and pink incorporated throughout, feminine lined figures of movement and activity and the event’s phrase, “Reclaim Your Rhythm,” featured prominently in its upper left corner.  

 “As artists, we wanted to capture the spirit of the phrase, and create a piece that felt rhythmic. The women dancing was the way we chose to show our movement, and the contour lines connected the women like people would be connecting at the event,” Jaksha said.  

Overall, muralists were given from Sep. 22 to Oct. 14, less than three weeks turnaround time from when the project was introduced, to when it had to be completed. 

 “Initially, I was worried about the time commitment because the turnaround time was so fast, but I eventually decided I would be really disappointed if I couldn’t be involved,” Jaksha said. 

In total, the project took over 47 hours, and split between the five muralists, that shakes down to about 9.4 hours of work per participant. “It was a great opportunity to get some experience with large scale projects and quick turnaround time, if I had the opportunity to, I would definitely do something similar again,” Jaksha said. 

“This was a great experience and I’m glad Central students were asked to create it. It was wonderful to support such a great organization by using my artistic talents,” Moeller said.  

Jaksha went on to conclude, saying, “I loved working on this project, while I’m not sure what I want to pursue in the future, whatever I end up doing, I hope I never stop creating art.”