A colorful mural across from the wall of flags greeted staff and students when they walked into Ossining High School this week.
Artist Joe Pimentel of Newburgh created a 30-foot mural that is designed around the district’s new tagline: "Pride in all that we are."
The new mural highlights the district’s diversity by incorporating the flags into the design. Flags unfurl from the Ossining O in the center of the mural, and circles with symbols and colors from the flags are painted on each side.
A group of students spent the last week of summer vacation painting the mural.
When high school staff asked if Alessandra Gutierrez would work on the project, the OHS sophomore explained, “I liked painting when I was little, so I said, ‘Why not?’”
The mural was funded by a grant from the Ossining MATTERS Education Foundation to enhance the look of the school and convey the importance of inclusiveness and diversity at OHS.
Pimentel said the OHS project is his 26th collaborative school mural. He has worked with children in schools throughout the Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Connecticut. By working with students, they learn the process for creating a mural and take pride in what they accomplished.
“At the end, they see this giant, colorful mural, and they were a part of it,” Pimentel said.
OHS Principal Stephen Hancock said the mural looks amazing, and he is in awe of what Pimentel and the students accomplished in one week.
“This is a reflection mural which captures the images of many of the flags across from it,” Hancock said. “Ossining is rich in diversity and it is something we are proud of and celebrate. Our new brand, pride in all that we are, is the focal point of this mural but it embraces the countries that make up who we are.”
Sophomore Jose Velasquez, 16, said he enjoyed painting and collaborating with fellow students and the artist.
“It feels good working on it,” Velasquez said. “They should give him more jobs so we can learn more.”
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