By Thomas Picinich, Contributing Writer (‘22)

It would be an understatement to say that the pandemic changed our environment, and after so many different changes and the missing traditions, the senior class brought back another memorable Hills tradition: senior murals on the school walls. These new murals will be displayed in the new senior commons room, formerly the teacher’s lounge room. Drumbeats spoke to several students who shared their mural’s inspiration and what it means to them. 

Dylan Dietrich decided to create a mural of Hills’ very own Coach Hill. When asked why he chose to “immortalize” him on the wall, he said it was due to his character. He noted how Coach Hill is “a very iconic part of our school, everybody loves him.” He went on to say that Coach Hill encapsulates what the school represents and that his well-known quote, “It’s a great day to be brave.” sparks inspiration among his peers. “He’s just iconic. He’s the first one I thought of when I thought of a teacher to draw. Just one that everybody knows,” Dietrich says. 

Alejandro Zeledon decided to create a cartoonish and childlike representation of Hills’ mascot Brave the Eagle for his mural. When asked why he chose the more “cartoony” approach compared to his fellow classmates’ more realistic approach, he said, “I’ve always liked it, and I’ve always drawn in a cartoony fashion.” He also mentioned his original concept, a mesh of a realistic portrayal of Mr. Mungiello with cartoon characters. He ended up scrapping this idea because he felt he couldn’t honor the teacher properly with his drawing style. “I don’t feel like realistic [art] is fun. I don’t enjoy that.” 

Speaking of Mr. Mungiello, there has been a lot of praise for him and the art department. Senior Haley Lenzetti, who’s creating a portrait of the moon and sun, credited Mr. Mungiello as the reason why the art department was able to do murals. Senior Jessica Pendy also gave the art department credit. She commented on how she was very thankful to have the chance to create a mural. She is creating a mural of Elton John.

The murals in the commons room are expected to be finished by the last day of school. The new art will stay on the walls for decades and be seen by dozens of classes to come. They will not only be a timestamp but a testament to Indian Hills overcoming the pandemic by allowing their great artists to decorate the school once more.