This week WHSAD students completed their mural project for the Broadway production of “Once On This Island.” Through their work, students pursued an objective that incorporated aspects of art and heritage that broadened their scopes of their creative abilities and the ever-changing world. Students felt the gratification of seeing their hard work progress from the brain-storming stage to development and drafting to the catharsis of completion. Below is a CBS news report covering the mural’s unveiling and what some of the stakeholders think of the piece.
Part of adolescence is gaining a better sense of one’s self. In the midst of the tumult of teenagehood, people begin to recognize who inhabits their bodies and what their strengths and weaknesses could be. Through academics, students find points of interest that they may seek to pursue at a secondary level. Through socialization, students come to discern the nuances of human behavior that they could then apply to networking more effectively in future situations. And through extracurriculars, students explore creative and personal aspects that help them attain soulfulness and a sense of purpose.
This last facet of the high school experience is what some of our students have been engaging in over the last couple of weeks. Students of Haitian descent have been working with architecture teachers, Ms. Moos, Mr. Codio, and Mr. Geringer, in developing a mural for the Broadway production of Once On This Island, finding a project that combines academics, socialization, and extracurricular. This experience was further enriched by the time they spent with artist, Yolene Legrand, who brought this opportunity to the students and worked with them on learning more about the culture and geography of Haiti. Through this experience, the students contribute to the creative community while at the same time gain more of a sense of who they are by exploring their cultures. Over the next weeks, we will have updates on the progress, culminating in the unveiling of the final mural. Please stay tuned and read below for participant commentary.
During the week of May 25th, WHSAD students began developing a mural for the Broadway play, Once On This Island. Each student took references from both the play and their imaginations to create a synthesized vision that combines elements of these students’ cultures and their personal experiences. Student correspondent, Antonio Perez notes, “Seeing each student being able to turn a video into art was simply amazing; the entire process was just fascinating. I can’t wait to see how the mural ends up looking once all the students start combining their visions and creations.” Below students working on the project spoke about the visions for their art and how the play inspired in the outcome of the art.
Freshman Shanice Darius said, “I saw Once on This Island on Wednesday May 23rd. I liked the play because the main character did not care that she was a peasant, and she still wanted to help the rich guy. She wanted to find her love because she wanted to help, but the car crashed and she died because he got hit and he didn’t care about her. An important message I believe I can take away from the play is to stay in your place because she wanted to be with the rich people instead of her own people (the peasants). A the end of the play when she dies, she turns into a tree, so what I thought we could do with the mural is we can draw a tree in the middle and then everyone around her in a circle praying to her and in the background you can have the markets.”
Junior Romual Germain said, “ Right now I’m working on the mural, and I’m currently drawing in the water. The water that is surrounding the island and approaches the shores of the island plays an important part in the mural. Although it may seem simple, it is a very important part of the mural as it adds character. I’m going to take not only what I saw in the play but what I see in images and put my own unique twist into it. I’m really going to add my own personal way of doing each little detail. I was able to also see the play on Wednesday, while I did like it and I found it to be good, I feel that as a Haitian myself it did not correctly represent the Haitian culture.”