Students transform soon-to-be demolished hallway into art

Junior Jessi Talluto’s painting depicts an animal losing its home to deforestation

Junior Jessi Talluto painted a deer skull surrounded by fire and smoke recently on the wall of Wyoming High School. 

Finished murals now decorate the hallway (courtesy photo)

The message she hopes to convey through the mural, located between lockers, is about deforestation, she said. Pictures of tiny factories behind the deer symbolize the takeover of wildlife habitat.

Art students are using a soon to-be-demolished hallway as their canvas to temporarily spread awareness and get their peers thinking about social, mental health and environmental issues. Art teacher Robyn Gransow-Higley said they wanted to use the space for art with the purpose of conveying messages before the hallway is torn down.

Renovations and construction of a large building addition are under way at the school, with much to be completed by fall 2020.

 “We’re allowing this space to do one last and hopefully positive thing before it goes away,” Gransow-Higley said, noting that students took charge of the project after she got permission to paint on the walls.

Juniors Nicole Start and Onna Burger painted a picture of a bin containing trash with a large recycling bin above it. Onna said she wants students to think about how much they consume and discard. “A lot of people use a lot,” she said. “I want them to think about how things could be in the future if they don’t think about the waste they create.”

Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

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