Tea Area senior Alexa Ensz will leave behind a piece of art when she graduates this spring.
Ensz began work on a mural in the hallway next to the art room in January. She hopes to complete the work by mid-April.
The artwork features a quote “Art is art. Everything else is everything else.” The quote by American painter Ad Reinhardt is one of Ensz’s favorites.
“That’s one of my favorite quotes just because I think it separates art from everything else,” Ensz said.
In addition to the quote, the mural also consists of a hand holding a pencil. The top will have a burst of color and designs.
Ensz first drew the design on paper before turning it into a mural.
“When I drew it it wasn’t for a mural specifically. I was doodling and thought it would be cool for a mural,” she said.
She said the hardest part about doing the mural is painting on a wall rather than a desk.
“It’s a lot different painting on a wall than flat on a desk so that’s been kind of hard, especially not being able to reach. I have to stand on a ladder for most of it,” Ensz said.
High school art teacher Stephanie Kaiser has helped her by giving input on paint colors and how big the quote should be. She also helped her make a transparency of her drawing so she could trace it on the wall.
“She’s given me a lot of input that’s been helpful,” Ensz said.
They ordered some special paint for the mural. She will use some metallic turquoise and red at the top, plus sparkly black.
Ensz grew up around art with both of her parents drawing and painting. She picked up on art early and learned a lot from her parents.
She enjoys charcoal the most so painting is a bit out of her norm.
“I really like charcoal and regular pencil drawings. I do mostly portraits of people and things like that. I haven’t done a lot of painting so this is kind of new to me. It’s a little bit out of my comfort zone,” Ensz said.
Ensz has taken every art class available at Tea Area so the mural project is an independent study. She comes in during her open period during first period and over lunch to work on the mural.
After graduation, Ensz plans to go to art college or take some independent art classes and become a full-time artist after high school.
“I’ve been interested in art my whole life. I still have drawings from when I was 5 years old,” Ensz said.