Art project expands into class book

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, May 26, 2012

Austin High School junior Logan Shuster sprays gloss on the 11th-graders' portion of their art project, which will combine with the three other high school grades in the Area Learning Center and form the cover of a school book. The book will compile some of the life stories of students who worked on the project. - Matt Peterson/

Austin High School students are compiling their efforts, likely for something they will never forget.

Area Learning Center students at AHS — ninth through 12th grade — put the finishing touches on four murals Friday afternoon. What’s more, each grade’s mural will combine to make the cover of a class book, “See Us, Hear Us.” Dozens of students applied glossy coats Friday to the exteriors of paintings that feature each grade’s vision: 12th grade, imagine; 11th grade, dream; 10th grade, create; and ninth grade, challenge.

“The students cooperated to find the word they felt best expressed them as a group,” said ALC instructor Shirley Morgan, who helped start the project.

AHS freshmen Danielle Jones and Michaila Viet apply gloss to the ninth-graders’ mural, which features all walks of people coming together. - Matt Peterson/

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Many of the students chose to write about significant portions of their lives to enter into the book, as much as they want. The book has no size limit.

The project was made possible by an Austin Education Foundation grant, which brought in artist in residence Bruce Loeschen to help with the project. And when the art project went from only murals to an entire book, Morgan was able to tap into more funding and keep it going.

“I like an art composition and a writing composition to go together,” she added.

Though the murals are complete, “See Us, Hear Us” has a few more few more writings to go. Morgan said the book will be finished and available before the end of the school year.