Painting at the police station

AP studio art students tackle outdoor mural


Sarah Heiden

Students including Brice Brown and Alexis Mooney paint primer over the cement wall the mural will cover.

With their AP Studio Art portfolios finished, and only a few weeks left until graduation. AP Art students have been working on a mural for the police station in Old Willamette. The project was introduced to them early second semester by Officer Jeff Halverson, after his friend and fellow officer, Nick Amendolara, suggested that painting a mural would be a cool project for the AP students, since they had some open wall space outside. Students were given the option to draw a design idea for the mural that represented West Linn, and several students submitted their work to Halverson. The officers decided that Alexis Mooney’s, senior, design was the best fit for the mural.

“My idea came from what I can see from West Linn,” Mooney said, “something that we can see out our windows or from our streets, [which would be] Mt. Hood, it’s kind of a staple.”

Mooney’s design is like a quilt, each student gets to paint several squares. Each square will be done in a different art style, whether it is an abstract design or impressionist take. All the squares will blend together to make one picture of Mt. Hood.

Sarah Heiden
A rough sketch of the mural rests in AP Studio Art teacher Mrs. Gauthier’s hands.

Students like, Grace Eaton, senior, are excited about the mural and Mooney’s concept. “I think it will be cool that you can see each person’s individual squares and their style because we have such different art styles” Eaton said.

The students took their first shuttle down to the police station on Friday May 11th to take a look at the wall they would be painting. Starting the week of the 14th, students have been taking shuttles to the station every class period to paint. On the 16th, they finished painting on a coat of primer, and then sectioned out a square grid for the quilt design.  The medium they will use to paint the mural is house paint because it is durable and can handle the harsh Oregon weather, according to Mooney.

“My hope for these students,” Diane Gauthier, AP studio art teacher, said, “In this experience, is that they would see the challenge, meet the challenge, enjoy the process, do a fabulous job and have a great sense of accomplishment in providing this mural for the police station.”  

After the next 3 years, Halverson hopes to replace the mural with a new one painted by the future AP art class.  “Art is always changing,” Halverson said, “hopefully it will be a project that we can do for years and years.”