A New Coat of Paint

Sadie Han and other AP Studio Art students leave their legacy on NASH through the installation of a mural.


Still in the early stages of painting, the mural is surrounded by dividers to ensure the space is closed off to students.

Olivia Shubak, Staff Writer

Earlier this month, students may have noticed art portfolios displayed throughout the first floor in preparation for the NASH Art Show. Unknown to most, however, there is another exciting art installation to look forward to before the end of the year. NASH senior Sadie Han is leaving her mark on the school—quite literally. She, and the other AP art students, are painting a mural on the first floor.

Mrs. Swan, who teaches visual art classes here at NASH, shared with The Uproar how the project came about.

“The mural has been piloted from a grant from the NA foundation for students to create public artwork,” Swan said. “We decided on a mural this year, so all of those funds went into purchasing paint that we can use for murals—not only for this year but for coming years, too. “

To determine what would be depicted in the mural, Swan held a competition for students to submit their designs. Then, students currently enrolled in art classes had the opportunity to vote on a final design. After the votes were counted and Han’s was deemed the winning design, the artists got to work.

Although the project may seem daunting with the school year coming to a close, Han is optimistic that they will stay on track and finish before graduation.

“I anticipate it will take the rest of the year, but the AP Art classes and I are making really good progress each day,” she said. 

While too much should not be revealed before the mural’s unveiling, Han described her vision and inspiration for the finished product. 

“I designed the mural to be a representation of NA,” she said. “The squares are all Post-its, and each one has a little image of some aspect of the school. I’ve included sports, academics, and arts, as well as two school-spirit ones.  The top will have text reading ‘you matter,’ which pushes the message that everyone contributes to a whole, and all of the students are what make NA amazing.”

The top will have text reading ‘you matter,’ which pushes the message that everyone contributes to a whole, and all of the students are what make NA amazing.

— Sadie Han

The mural’s individual components were purposefully selected to unify distinct elements of the school, embodying North Allegheny’s focal mission and, of course, the T4L mantra.

Swan added, “It’s featuring various Post-its with different icons and images, and the central theme is Tigers for Life.”

Interestingly, the artistic process slightly differs when dealing with larger spaces. However, Han’s approach is simple and methodical.

“With sketching, I had drawn the design on a picture of the wall to gauge proportions. Though it was mostly all guess and check, having to take periodic step backs to see the whole wall in view,” she said. “With painting, we’ve split up and assigned sections to certain people to make the process more efficient.”

Already having painted a smaller mural at Ingomar Middle School during her time there, Han is certainly fit for the task.

When asked if she felt overwhelmed or excited by the daunting project, Han said, “Definitely excited! It’s such an amazing legacy project, and it will be nice for that big, blank wall to be colorful.”

The artists utilize chairs and scaffolding to paint higher, harder-to-reach areas. (Olivia Shubak)