The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

Art Students Splash IC Cafe With Color in New Senior-Designed Mural

Peter Philpott
Junior Zaylix Terhune works on central sections of the IC Cafe mural. Even though he’s not a member of the National Art Honor Society that organized the mural, he still chose to participate in the project as an Artisan Workshop student. “I get to say, ‘I painted that,’” Terhune said. “That’s a pretty cool flex.”

Creek’s National Art Honor Society (NAHS), in association with students from AP Studio and Artisan Workshop, is working to paint a mural in a small group room of the IC Cafe. Students come in during their off periods to paint sections of the vibrant piece, working on a color-by-number type system.

NAHS plans to finish the mural by spring break. “We weren’t sure about how long it would take to complete a mural at that size in 47 minute increments,” club sponsor and visual arts teacher Alissandra Seelaus said. “I love it because I can see my students enjoying something that…takes a lot of organization to make.”

The artwork, depicting a natural scene of blue jays and insects amidst green and blue foliage, was designed by NAHS senior officer Annie Nuetzal.

“We held an open call for entries so I entered and mine got selected,” Nuetzel said.

According to Seelaus, she was happy to sponsor a mural that depicted a scene of Colorado nature, rather than a Creek-themed piece.

“We didn’t want to design something that was Creek themed because there’s so much of that at our school,” Seelaus said. “The idea is that we could paint a similar small mural in each of those study spaces throughout the new IC facility.”

Nuetzel thought a scene of nature was well-needed in the common space. “I don’t really have that much school spirit,” she said. “I’m just more interested in nature subjects.”

Seelaus was quite happy with the amount of involvement from the entire visual arts department, and said they’re doing good work to expose the purpose of the NAHS. The time spent painting goes towards each student’s accumulation of community service hours.

“They’re killing it,” she said. “A mural is a very public facing way to bring attention to the fact that we have incredible artists who are capable of doing cool things.”

One painter, junior Zaylix Terhune, came in during eighth period on Feb. 29 to paint. “The purpose of this is just to bring a little bit of color into the study rooms, so they’re not so boring, to make them feel more comforting,” he said. “I just like helping out and I thought it’d be really fun to just help paint a mural.”

Terhune said it would be great later on to look back at the mural and be proud to have played a part.

“I get to say, ‘I painted that,’” he said. “That’s a pretty cool flex.”

Seelaus believes that mural painting is a useful skill that allows many artists to display their art to the public.

“Lots of public facing businesses and things want murals because it makes their space more beautiful and inviting,” Seelaus said. “It’s nice to give them an experience like this with structure that they can then use their creative skills for the betterment of the community.”

The majority of the numbered sections have been completed, but Seelaus says that time-consuming line work and detailing is yet to come.

Regardless of time spent, she is still happy about how the color-by-number system has made it an easier community project.

“It’s really empowering to demystify a process that looks really scary and hard and difficult,” Seelaus said. “I think it’s intimidating in some cases to paint something that big, but then you feel really empowered when you’re done.”


The near complete NAHS mural from outside the IC Cafe, in the week before its completion deadline. Seelaus said the mural could be completed early, but the club has volunteers set up until spring break, in case parts of the project take more time than expected. Peter Philpott
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Peter Philpott
Peter Philpott, Managing Editor & Assistant News Editor
Hey there! My name's Peter, I'm a sophomore, and I'm the USJ's managing editor and assistant news editor. I believe that the first amendment is incredibly important, and as journalists we have the right and the duty to uphold it. I am very passionate for news reporting, from small, local issues, to major politics or systemic change topics. This is why I love political/breaking news reporting, and one day I hope to be an investigative journalist. I also enjoy artistic photography in my free time. I play trumpet and mellophone and I am part of Creek's Marching Band. I'm enthusiastic to inform this school on the happenings of our community, from Capitol Hill to the quad. Also, check out my column, Peanuts and Cracker Jack, where I talk about in-depth baseball!

To contact me by email, access my portfolio, or view my photography Instagram account, click the respective buttons below.

Comments (0)

All Union St. Journal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *