State of the art without the art: The new GMHS

The hallways of the new school are bare, and students have opinions on the lack of art and personal touches on the walls. (Photo by Megan Clinton)

The new George Mason High School is a state of the art marvel, but there is one thing missing: art. The walls are bare and the only splash of color is the furniture in the hallways and the occasional accent wall.

At the old school building, the murals and painted tiles of the school were what made Mason, Mason. It created a culture and environment where students felt at home. At the new school there is a noticeable lack of art and personal touch within the new school.

Mason students have a variety of opinions on the art or lack thereof at the new school.

“The school is feeling like an uncooked, boiled chicken. We have so many blank walls. I wish there was more art, every floor, every classroom looks the same,” junior Gayle Lobaton said. “This is a high school, I’m not working a 9-to-5, I wish we could have a mural or something!”

There are no spaces in the school designated to student artwork, and students are eager to help fill up the blank walls. “Give us space to make art!” junior Mena Hailemariam said.

Some students feel that the lack of art makes the building not feel like a school. “It just looks depressing – it looks like an office building everywhere I look, it has no character,” senior Jack Rifkin said. 

Other students have more neutral opinion; they appreciate how sleek the new school looks and would only like a small amount of art to be displayed. “I think a good balance of art on some of the walls would be nice. We need a little something to look at,” junior Emmett Woods said.

When asked if she believes there should be more art on the walls of the classrooms and in the halls, Dr. Zernik quickly replied, “Without a doubt.”

“Not [an] overwhelming [amount of art],” she said. “I don’t like a lot, a couple things would be nice to add color and personality, it would be especially nice on the long walls.”

Some teachers have put posters on the walls, but others are on under the impression that is not allowed.

“I haven’t heard anything officially. I haven’t heard ‘no you can’t’ or ‘yes you can.’” said Dr. Zernik.

Amidst the chaos of moving schools, students feel that they should be able to add their own personal artistic connection to the school.

“In the end, it’s our school!” Lobaton said.