From the 1940s through the early 1990s, B-CC students painted large, colorful murals on the walls along the hallways of buildings A and C of the school. The murals depicted life at B-CC, celebrated local landmarks and specific moments in history, paid tribute to noted personalities of the day, and interpreted famous literature and art. From the Washington Monument to Elvis to Renoir’s Little Girl with the Watering Can, some 40 murals were familiar features along the hallways of B-CC for nearly 50 years.
Unfortunately, in 1999, when work on the school's modernization began, abestos were found in the walls on which these murals were painted, and the murals could not be saved. Recognizing the importance of these murals, the PTSA had each piece professionally photographed, with the hope that some day the murals could be reproduced and once again grace the halls of our school. (See photos of the historic murals.)
Thanks to a generous gift from the Class of 1975 to the B-CC High School Educational Foundation, this process has begun! In 2005, to mark their 30th reunion, the Class of 1975 funded the recreation of the Elvis Mural, along with a leadership gift-challenge grant, challenging other classes to make contributions to the murals project for the return of additional murals to B-CC. The new Elvis Mural, now hanging on the wall across from the auditorium, was created on canvas, using the Giclee print process. The Giclee process of printmaking uses high resolution digital scans of an image (in this case, our small slide) which are then printed with archival quality inks onto canvas.
The Class of 1956, under the leadership of Jonda McFarlane, launched its mural recreation project at its 50th reunion in 2006, as an anniversary gift to the school. Over a two-year period, classmates contributed to the Class of 1956 B-CC Murals Fund, and in the spring of 2008, members of the class voted to bring back the 1946 “Life at B-CC” mural, in grateful memory of how the participation in academics, sports, music, art, and fun during their high school years has shaped their lives and their futures. That summer, realizing that the poor quality of the mural at the time it was photographed would make recreating it using the Giclee process unsatisfactory, B-CC parent artist and muralist Katie Freeman Vita began working on duplicating this 1946 mural with acrylics on four panels of canvas. On February 12, 2009, the completed mural, mounted on beautiful curved panels especially created by master craftsman David Lockard to fit the curved wall, was hung in the school’s entrance lobby above the trophy case. (See photos of the completed mural and the recreation process.)
The work on this historic mural sparked interest among current students to paint a mural depicting current life at B-CC. In the spring of 2009, under the direction of Ms. Vita, students Laura Sheys, Rosalie Eck, Caroline Walker, Lexi Williams, Martha Abbott, Diane Sinclair, Kristine Albanes and Eva Bessette designed and executed the new mural to complement the 1946 mural, using matte fluid acrylics, permanent, artist- grade paints, donated by the B-CC HS Educational Foundation. The artists felt strongly that they have celebrated in paint the richness of diversity at B-CC today. On July 9, 2009, representatives from the Class of 1956 and of the current student artists joined Principal Lockard in dedicating the completed murals. (See photos of the recreated 1946 and the new 2009 “Life at B-CC” murals, and of the dedication.)
The summer of 2009 also brought back another mural to B-CC. Alumnus Phil Hutinet, class of 1988, painted Youthquake in 1988. He has remained a painter after B-CC, and in the fall of 2008, decided to donate his time to recreate his mural for the school. The new Youthquake mural was unveiled on April 2010 and now hangs in the “A” hallway across from the cafeteria.
The B-CC High School Educational Foundation is leading the effort to have the historic murals recreated, thereby keeping alive the piece of B-CC history that these murals represent. It will continue to bring murals back to the school as more funds are donated by alumni classes and community members for this project.
Your class can support the return of these exuberant icons of the past to the walls of B-CC for future generations to enjoy. Mark your class reunion with a gift to the B-CC HS Educational Foundation. The cost of restoration varies with the size of the mural. For more information, please contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos of B-CC's Historic Murals
Photos of the Recreated Murals