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OSS art students create ‘exciting’ new mural for school atrium

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The Orillia Secondary School (OSS) atrium will soon be graced with a new, student-made triptych mural that celebrates school spirit and Indigenous culture and history.

For the past two months, approximately 20 students from grades 9-12 have participated in the brand-new OSS Mural Club, put together by art teachers Steph Dunn and Lindsay Cooper-Wagner.

“We just decided to do this as an extracurricular, to give these artist students a home to have, you know, if they’re not involved in in sports or other things,” said Dunn. “They kind of found each other and we got to do some creative stuff together as a community.”

Together, the group created the Woodlands-style mural.

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“It was inspired by one of my Grade 9 students, an Indigenous student, who did a drawing of our (school mascot) Nighthawk in the Woodlands style,” Dunn said.

Each piece of the mural reflects something different about the school, the community, and the area’s Indigenous history, Dunn explained.

“We kind of adopted that style, and also created a treaty map that’s done in the Woodlands style, a kind of (abstraction) of Simcoe County,” she said. “We also have a tree that symbolizes … we’re all in this in this building together … and there are seven little mini Nighthawks in the trees — they represent the seven grandfather teachings.”

The students who participated were happy for the opportunity to help create something meaningful and lasting for their school.

“For me, it was like really exciting to hear, as a Grade 9, I get to finally do something really big,” said OSS student Triti Shah. “I do a lot of art, digital (and) traditional, and it’s just like a really big thing for me … throughout my childhood. It’s really great actually getting to have something up there and out for everyone to see.”

Grade 10 student Paige Hodges, who is also an artist in her free time, said it was important to incorporate elements of Indigenous history in the mural.

“That was the the big idea was to really incorporate the indigenous aspects to it,” she said. “It is really nice to see that sort of inclusiveness in art pieces that will be displayed everywhere.”

The students are looking forward to the mural taking its rightful place in the atrium.

“I think they’re going to take a lot of pride in it once it’s up,” said Dunn.

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Indigenous artwork for new southwest Kitchener Library selected – Kitchener.CityNews.ca

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Indigenous art installation unveiled at Hamilton's Bayfront Park – CHCH News

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Teenage artist holds first solo art exhibition in Richmond – Richmond News

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