Students of High School 1327 design inspiring murals to replace former Drake logo


Emily Cardwell

“9-RG”, designed and painted by Sophomore Reiley Dillon, displayed left outside HS 1327 baseball field.

After the original Drake Pirates signage was removed from High School 1327 (HS 1327) in July of 2020, the Drake Fund, the Associated Student Body (ASB), and AP art students suggested adding new artwork on campus. Starting in September, students were given the chance to design an art piece that may become a mural displayed for students of HS 1327. The new murals along with the current name change are meant to showcase a positive and inclusive message for the school’s community. 

An invitation was sent out in the September school newsletter for interested students to submit artwork that represented the values of equality, kindness, and teamwork. After students submitted their artwork proposals, a committee of administrators and ASB members reviewed the anonymous submissions and chose three artwork proposals to be painted. 

“Unity”, designed and painted by Zola Thurston and Jessie Gauna, displayed centered outside HS 1327 baseball field. (Emily Cardwell)

A group of students volunteered to paint the murals and were able to finish the project by the end of February. Sarah Sanders, an artist who volunteered to help paint the murals says she hopes the new artwork will mirror HS 1327’s intentions and values. 

“It’s my hope that these murals reflect the goals we have as a school to show an inclusive and supportive environment to all,” said Sanders.

Each mural showcases a message to the community. One of the murals, “9-RGB,” designed by HS 1327 sophomore Reiley Dillon, displays Ruth Bater Ginsburg’s famous lace collar and her empowering quote “When there are nine.”

The second mural, “Unity,” designed and painted by Zola Thurston and Jessie Gauna, pictures continents across the world and a variety of hands spelling out the word “unity” in sign language. 

The final mural “Change is Possible,” also designed by Dillon, showcases nine influential women including Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Kalina Kula, a student who participated in painting the mural says the artwork is inspiring for students of HS 1327.

“The mural [picturing the nine women]… is especially inspiring for female-identifying students, who can look up to these powerful leaders and be inspired to follow in their footsteps and make positive change,” said Kula. 

The new murals featured on campus showcase student artwork and values that the school hopes to carry out. HS 1327 is working to make an equal and inclusive place for all students and staff.  During a time of great uncertainty, the new murals are meant to offer a hopeful, inspiring, and accepting environment for the school and its community.