Art Club hosts second town hall for community discussion of Quad mural designs


Brandon Zau

Art Club town hall attendees listen to the presentation of potential ideas and designs for the Quad mural. The Art Club plans to open voting of the final design for students and faculty on Feb. 28 through March 4.

by Isha Moorjani, News Editor

The Art Club hosted their second town hall on Jan. 24 to discuss visuals for the mural they plan to paint in the Quad on the wall to the right of the auxiliary gym entrance and to give feedback on sketches during long lunch in the art building.  

10 students and five Art Club officers discussed four potential sketches, the theme of the mural, potential designs, color palettes and future steps. Designs revolved around the theme of school life, presenting a diverse array of student activities and interests. 

“We really want to make something colorful and beautiful in the Quad right now and bring a little bit more life or a little bit more joy to the Quad,” Art Club officer Michelle Liu (12) said. “And we think it’d be super cool to kind of do a mural that reflected all the aspects of Harker life, not only academics, but also all the amazing extracurriculars that we have, and all the amazing students that we have.”

At the town hall, students were invited to offer feedback on the sketches created by design teams. One sketch showed majestic butterflies emerging from a pair of open hands with large wings on either side. Another featured holding hands, butterflies, an eagle and a variety of student activities. Members also discussed a design that showcased students engaging in activities while standing on a large book with California poppies surrounding the book on either side, and another included a panoramic, birds-eye view of the upper school campus and the surrounding areas. One design team consisted of Sophia Liu (9), Gloria Zhu (12), Julie Shi (10), Yifan Li (9) and Desiree Luo (10). Another design team consisted of Michelle, Austina Xu (11), Angelina Hu (10), Sania Gupta (10) and Ashley Hu (11). The last team consisted of Sonya He (11), Avery Olson (11), Jessica Wang (9), Ally Lee (11), Lakshmi Mulgund (11) and Carlo Banzon (11). Michelle appreciates how the groups incorporated both the diversity of school life and California nature in unique ways. 

“[The] stunning California nature that’s around us and the native plants too, that’s another thing that we were talking about today, even just maybe incorporating California poppies,” Michelle said. “[It would] kind of be a more personal way to incorporate ourselves into the mural.”

The Art Club hosted their first town hall on Nov. 16, where they discussed ideas, symbols and potential themes, and they also received input from the upper school community through a Google form before hosting their second town hall. 

“For this process of creating a mural in a community setting, it is so much about collaboration, as well as really listening to each other,” said upper school visual arts teacher and art club adviser Pilar Agüero-Esparza. “So the collaboration and being able to respect each other’s points of views and really working together, that’s really challenging, but it’s a great experience for students to do that.”

The Associated Student Body (ASB) Community Service Committee is collaborating on the mural project with the Art Club through helping with logistical planning. 

“I knew that since we were away for a year online, I wanted something that could excite people being back at school in person,” said Alex Lan (11), ASB officer for the class of 2023 and head of the Community Service Committee. “And so I think that’s where the idea originated.”

The Art Club will finalize the design ideas soon and send them out to the upper school community for voting, which will be open from Feb. 28 to March 4. Preparations for community painting of the mural will take place after students and faculty vote on the final design. All students will have the opportunity to paint the mural under the guidance of Art Club officers and members. 

Additional reporting by Brandon Zau.