North High Magnet Unveils Mural in Honor of OPS's 150th Anniversary
By Taylor Jundt
North High Magnet Student
It’s the 150th anniversary of the Omaha Public Schools and to celebrate, an anonymous donor provided grants throughout OPS for public recognition of the anniversary.
North High Magnet art and pottery teachers Kim Cooper and Gay O’Neil received a grant for $2,100 to create the "Celebrate" mural to display at the school.
The building blocks for the project include glass, wire, wood, pewter, feathers, and metals, but the majority of the mural is clay tiles.
“[The project] encompasses all student artwork,” said Cooper. “We have projects that are in there that were done by students who graduated in the mid 1980’s, that have been incorporated by the tiles that we’ve made. They have the faces of the students; they were self portraits of those kids who worked on them.”
"Celebrate" bridges the past of Omaha North High to the present.
“The left side has the old logo on it, the right side has the new logo on it,” Cooper explained. “The Raku river of broken pots down the middle represents the Missouri river and bridging the past to the present.”
“One of our focal points was the Missouri river,” said O’Neil. “Raku has been an important part of Omaha North High’s pottery department for 25 years.”
Not only is "Celebrate" historical, but it also features a representation of the columns and the North High School sign from the outside of the school building.
“We also focused on the physical elements of the front of Omaha North High Magnet School,” O’Neil said.
Students in Omaha North’s Advanced Pottery and Senior Art classes began working on the project when school started in August for the 2009/2010 school year.
"Celebrate" is about 16-feet wide, and 6 to 7-feet tall. It is on display in the student commons area--also known as the Viking Center--at North High Magnet.
The Viking Center is open to the general public to view the mural. The formal dedication of "Celebrate" will occur during the Senior Art Show, held in conjunction with the Senior Honors Night program, starting at 7:00 p.m. on May 13 at North High Magnet School.
Click here to see a photo slideshow of the mural.