Color spots brighten hallways

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Color spots brighten hallways

The Southerner

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The walls surrounding the water fountain has been bejeweled with plaster studs molded from discarded fruit cups made by Brandhorst's 3A sculpture class.

Alix Youngblood


Grady students create a racially, socially and economically diverse wave of people as they bustle down the hallway, but the walls boast only one color: beige.


This year, the art department is taking the beautification of Grady’s campus to a new level. With the specific goal to bring about unity and school spirit through aesthetic identity, the art department—teachers and students alike—is creating “color spots.”


“These are attempts to reclaim the school as our own,” art teacher John Brandhorst said. “The building is an architectural document, and I think that Grady has an amount of sophistication and quirkiness that can be expressed this way. If all the world is a stage, all we have is this beige stage.”


The color spots are literally spots of color, which Brandhorst and the art students plan to use to decorate the walls. Various shades of reds, silvers and grays are soon to grace the walls of Grady, with knight-themed accessories and flourishes.


Brandhorst said he is disappointed in the lack of school spirit on campus but is optimistic about the powers of visual persuasion.


“It’s the aesthetics about [Grady’s campus] that provide the unity,” he said.


Brandhorst hopes this movement will continue after he is gone.


“I want the next art teacher to have the freedom and obligation to continue,” he said. “This is the job of the art department to provide a visual and aesthetic voice.”


Outside of the art department, other teachers and students have gotten involved as well. The new band director Brian Cook plans to incorporate the school’s three long-dead fight songs into the band’s regular rotation of tunes.


Senior Aja Blair, who is currently Ms. Grady, has begun attending student government association meetings in order to further her involvement with the entire school.


“I know our student body,” Blair said. “I know we are holding back.”


Blair and her SGA cohorts have already broken into six committees, one specifically geared toward bettering the school courtyard. The senior class is planning to expand the senior patio, constructed last year, by adding stairs to the eroded and muddy slope leading to the patio. The goal of the annual senior project is to allow departing seniors the chance to give back to Grady and to help contribute to its upkeep.


Brandhorst is also involved in the senior project. His focus for the school is to incorporate the students’ imagination into the physical aspect of the school, he said. Right now, he is concentrating on the color spots.


“There is a road to innovation that is curvy and fascinating,” Brandhorst said. “I want to keep that and, as much as possible, keep it student-driven. I want the students to feel ownership. Otherwise they’re walking through a beige bus stop.”

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