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Triumphing over tragedy with art

Following an accident in April when a student drove through the front doors of Francis Howell Central High, art students have turned tragedy into triumph by creating colorful murals to greet students and visitors.

The main entrance to FHC was boarded with plywood until the Francis Howell School District’s Facilities Department could repair the structure over the summer. Seeing the plywood as a canvas, students approached art teacher Judy Switzer about adding art to the boarded-up space. Switzer directed students to come up with designs for murals.

Students collaborated on a graffiti wall with designs celebrating the school, including a likeness of Principal Dr. Sonny Arnel. A giant Spartan was added to the front entrance to welcome. The mural was a four-day collaborative effort of over 20 artists.

“It went from a conversation in the hall about the accident and changed it to how cool the mural is and the great work done by the art students,” Switzer said. “The transformation is amazing and has had a positive impact on the school atmosphere.”

After receiving positive feedback, students and staff are looking for ways to save the artwork for the future. While the future of the murals is still unknown, the school plans to preserve the art with help from photography students.

Students at Francis Howell Central High collaborating on murals. [FHSD photo]

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