New murals to greet West Elem., MS students

       In the 2011-12 school year, West Elementary's third year of existence, its students chose a nickname: the Wolves.

Above is parent/artist David Stenholm's new south-wall mural (actually four separate paintings contributing to one theme) in the West Middle School/Elementary gym. It features images for the two schools' nicknames: the Warriors (middle school) and Wolves (elementary).
Westside Pioneer photo

       Now that nickname, combined with the longstanding Warriors of West Middle School, has become a permanent part of the gymnasium the two schools share, as depicted in murals by middle school parent/ artist David Stenholm.
       The murals also symbolize the desire of both schools to show their pride in sharing parts of the same building, including the gym.
       “The spectacular mural is on the south end,” remarked middle school Principal Clay Gomez, but added that he also likes the other two a lot.
       The south mural is actually four separate (but related) paintings - fit into available panels between wall cut-outs. “It was a bit of a challenge finding space,” Stenholm said.
       At the far left is the face of an Indian warrior. West Middle School's nickname has been the Warriors for many years. Stenholm said he tried to give the face a serious aspect, as if prepared for battle, in keeping with students' readiness to compete in games. “I didn't want him to be a caricature,” he added.
       At the far right is the head of a wolf, howling under a full moon.
       And in the middle, against a background of mountains and sky, with a cut-out between them, are the letters “WE” (the second from left panel) and “ST” (the second from right).
       The west wall sports a big W, with “olves” and “arriors” after it.
       Completing the symbolism is the east wall, on which Stenholm drew pawprints and feathers.
       The artist has had two daughters in West's SAIL program for gifted students. The older, Olivia, is now a sophomore at Coronado High, and the younger, Gabrielle, is a seventh-grader at West. “West is a special school,” said Stenholm, who admitted he spent a lot of the summer there painting. “It doesn't get a lot of attention, but it's a really cool place.”

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