Two new murals created by Saint Francis High School students have recently been been installed on campus, and with dramatic impact, they serve to tell stories of our past and remind the community of our history.
Both murals were collaborative projects, with each student involved responsible for drawing a section. One of the murals depicts the San Damiano Cross, which according to tradition, is the cross that St. Francis was praying before when he received the commission to rebuild the Church. The art work, done with oil pastels on black paper, was completed by students in teacher Sal Gaeta’s Drawing 2 class and hangs in the cafeteria. It joins another student mural, a recreation of the Last Supper that was installed last fall.
“One of the hallmarks of a Catholic school is Christian iconography that permeates the campus,” said Chaplain Father Tony Mancuso, who requested the San Damiano Cross and has asked for students to complete yet another mural, this one to depict the Resurrection. With the Last Supper focusing on Holy Thursday, the Cross on Good Friday and finally the Resurrection, the holiest days of Christianity would be represented in visual form at Saint Francis.
“The murals are another way to remind our students of the paschal Mystery, that is the love and dedication that our God has for us through his Son Jesus Christ,” Father Tony said.
The second mural recently completed is a portrait honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and hangs in a social studies classroom. The portrait complemented the school’s celebration of Black History Month, during which students researched African-American historical figures and shared their findings during the morning announcements. The floor-to-ceiling mural was created by students in the school’s Art Club, whose goal it is to create and install more murals in the community.
“The mural of Martin Luther King Jr. shows us how far we have come and reminds us that we can make a change in the world,” said sophomore Delaney Washington, one of the students involved in the Black History Month research.