Art From The Heart

By Abigail Keefe
November 29, 2001

Justine DiFilippo

Welcome to the jungle, where there is fun and games and a whole lot of paint and paintbrushes. Radnor High School would like to ask all its seniors who believe they are made from the best stuff on earth to report to the field house and plan to get messy. It’s that time of year again. Time to create a work of art that has become a tradition amongst RHS seniors.

A vision of catchy eye candy to view when driving past the field house, this freestanding building used mostly for storage has become the sketchpad for RHS seniors’ artwork. Every year the seniors gather together to design a theme that best represents the graduating class. This year’s theme: “Seniors, Made From the Best Stuff On Earth” and “Welcome to the Jungle.”

Possibly one of the oldest traditions among RHS students, Mike McBride, senior class adviser and adviser for the mural, can remember when he was in high school and students would sneak onto RHS grounds late at night to paint on the field house, which is located next to the lower athletic fields off of Radnor Chester Road.

“Although it was illegal and if you were caught by the police you would get into a lot of trouble, students would organize themselves and sneak over to the school late at night to paint messages on the field house,” McBride said. About 10 years ago after so many years of illegally painting on the building, the tradition was accepted by the administration and they decided to make this tradition legal and for the seniors.

The class officers organize about 25-30 seniors who volunteer their time and energy to paint the field house. They use money collected from fundraisers to purchase paint and supplies. Twice a year the field house receives a fresh coat of paint and a new theme.

“In the beginning of the year we paint the field house with a message that represents our class and in the spring we repaint the field house with a goodbye message right before we graduate,” senior Ashley Mahady said. “We wanted to come up with a slogan that started with the letter ‘s’ so we could switch it to the word ‘seniors’ and plus we liked the ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ theme,” Mahady said. Madahy said that originally in addition to the Snapple theme the plan was to paint McBride’s face on one side of the field house but due to the tragic incident of Sept. 11th they decided to paint an American flag instead. Plans fell through, however, due to lack of supplies and hands and they advertised for Lower Merion week to gather spirit among the students instead.

Lower Merion week is the pre-celebration of a hopeful victory for the biggest football game of the RHS football season. This year celebrated the 105-year anniversary of the oldest-running public high school football game in the country, RHS vs. Lower Merion high school.

“The top of the field house is currently in the process of being redone. We started to paint over the already-done Snapple theme to paint an inspiring message about America after the incident but this plan also fell through too because we discovered it cost too much to completely repaint the top of the field house and plus we didn’t have enough student help,” Mahady said.

“I think what the school has allowed these students to do is great. The students don’t have to worry about getting caught illegally painting the field house and it’s a great class activity for them. I believe it also helps to raise the students’ spirit for the school because there is so little of it in any school these days,” McBride said.

Without a doubt the mural painted on the field house does raise the students spirits. Every senior who has taken part in this activity has painted his or her name on the back wall of the field house. The rest of the walls are covered in jungle print with wild animals and on the front of the field house lies the inscription “We’ve got fun and games” and “Caution, seniors on property.” It is easy to see how much time and dedication it takes to complete a project like this. Being made from the best stuff on earth isn’t easy but these seniors have proved it is worth the while.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Abigail Keefe

Abigail Keefe is a Cabrini College student studying communications, enjoying her time in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Abbie loves working for the school newspaper, the Loquitur, and is also passionate about everything that the communication field has to offer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap