Hallway’s new look welcomes back students


By Leo Garkisch, copy editor
The beginning of the school year is always marked by lots of new things – teachers, friends, classes, homework. But for the second year in a row, students were welcomed by a new look to the school itself. Just days before classes kicked off, workers put up floor-to-ceiling murals in the hallway leading to the commons.
However, these aren’t just any murals. Several of them feature giant blown-up images of Prospect students doing everything from working in the chemistry lab to painting and marching in band.
“We were trying to get things that certainly encapsulated a lot of different aspects of student life,” Associate Principal Greg Minter said in an interview in his office on Friday.
Minter said that after the commons renovations that took place over the 2015 summer break were completed, he and other administration members decided that the newly white walls seemed too bare around the commons. They knew something needed to fill the blank spaces, but it was simply a question of what.
To help answer this question, Minter hired a consultant, who then met with students and staff to develop a plan. These meetings are responsible for the first piece of wall art, a poster depicting half of a knight and half of a student with a quote about what it means to be a knight on the north end of the commons that went up around spring break last school year.
“We wanted to try to expand [the idea of adding murals] some more,” Minter said, “visually try to represent some different things in our school with our own students.”
This is where the new art comes in.
Minter says he hired a professional photographer and emailed teachers, asking for anybody who had something especially interesting and photogenic going on in class on the particular spring day when the photographer would be shooting.
Around six or seven hours and “close to a thousand or more” photos later, Minter and the photographer had enough material to sift through and work towards getting a few blown up and posted on the walls in the hallway.
Once the pictures were chosen, Minter spoke with and emailed the teachers of students in the selected photographs so that nobody would have their face on the wall without first granting permission.
While sophomore Angelina Hwang did give permission and even volunteered to stage a scene for a shoot with the marching band, she was surprised when she walked through the main hallway and saw her face prominently displayed on the dozen-foot tall poster on the western wall.
“It was kind of a shock at first,” Hwang said of her initial reaction to seeing the piece. “I didn’t realize it was going to be that big and that I would be the focus. I was a little embarrassed at first, but then people were reassuring me that it was cool.”
Likewise, sophomore Michael McGovern, who is featured decked out in lab gear in the mural across the hall, was surprised at the size of the photo.
Minter admits that he could’ve done a better job of letting students who gave him permission to use their pictures what they were in for. He says that over the summer, he thought about how there were one or two students that he didn’t have a one-on-one conversation with about the prospect of their pictures being featured so centrally.
Nonetheless, McGovern feels that Minter was fair about how he handled the situation, saying that Minter and the photographer were “really nice about it.”
Along with the pictures, other additions to the walls include quotes from famous business people, including Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs.
“We were thinking about maybe doing some different banners in the stairwells,” Minter said, “but probably not to that scope and size [of the ones in the hallway.]”