MAGAZINE: Bearden walls need more murals (Hire my mom)

Amanda Seale

From The Bark magazine, Winter 2011 I am lying in the cool grass, still wet from the morning dew. The sky is slow­ing turn­ing orange as the sun rises over the peaks of the misty mountains. A black bear is resting in the grass with her cubs, listen­ing to the gentle babble of a stream. Suddenly, I am torn out of my reverie as the bell rings, ending the school day. Whoops – once again I have been guilty of daydreaming in my fourth period Newspaper class. But I am not completely at fault; I blame the mural on the class’s front wall for causing my day­dream. The mural is a beau­tiful landscape of the Smoky Mountains. And no, I’m not just say­ing that because my mom is the artist of this masterpiece. The mural adds so much life to the classroom. The en­vironment becomes so much more welcoming and friendly. It makes coming to class every day an adventure. Murals have sprung up around Bearden, and (in some form or another) I take a little credit for that. In the spring of last year, Mrs. Francis decided our Shakespeare class was going to paint the whole classroom. She enlisted the help of my amazingly talented and artistic mother to help lead our big un­dertaking. Our class of 14 spent all semester painting the room to portray A Midsummer’s Night Dream . The end result was beautiful, and the experience, truly price­less. Mr. Vacek caught wind of this and com­missioned my mother to come paint a mural in his classroom. So for much of this past semester, she has come and worked on the mu­ral that is now gracing our classroom wall. Everyday my class­mates and I have watched the room transform from an ordinary classroom to the foothills of the Smokies. Now I want to know – when can we get the rest of the Bearden classrooms covered with murals? We could paint Mr. McWhirter’s room as the Oval Of­fice—or even encourage more paint jobs like the one in Mrs. Harmon’s room. What­ever it is, let’s fill our school with color and eliminate even more of that institutional gray. And we should hire my mom to paint it all. Amanda Seale is a senior columnist for The Bark . Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook. Link to story on Gayla Seale’s mural from KnoxNews.com .