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Bella Dupont standing beside a book mural she created at Columbia High School

Bella Dupont standing beside a mural she created at Columbia High School.

As students and staff returned to Columbia High School last week, they noticed new murals painted on the columns outside English classrooms in the 3rd Floor South wing. Amidst the lightly colored floors, walls and ceilings are now bright, colorful murals celebrating famous literary titles such as “Of Mice and Men,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

There are 12 different murals with each one’s title painted up the column making it appear like the spine of an enormous book on a shelf. Each one also has a graphic or a line of text from the book painted on the side of the column.

The art project is titled “Check Out a Book” and was completed by junior Bella Dupont this summer as part of her Girl Scouts Gold Award, the most prestigious award available to Girl Scouts. The project took 107 hours to complete, she said.

“For many years the English Staff has been interested in having murals created to enrich the students’ love of literature,” Ms. Dupont wrote in her Gold Award presentation. “These murals dovetail my love for art with my love for English and books.”

Ms. Dupont consulted with Reading Department Chair, who is also her mother, Melissa Dupont as well as English Department Chair Meagan Asenbauer. Each of the literary works was chosen by a member of the English Department.

“Within just the first few days of school, it’s been apparent that everyone seems to notice and appreciate what the artwork adds to the atmosphere of our floor,” said Mrs. Asenbauer, who selected ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. “It is inspiring for our students and teachers to be surrounded by reminders of these literary classics.”

English Department faculty, Superintendent Jeff Simons, Ms. Dupont’s Scout Leader Laurel Kelley and Columbia students attended a ribbon cutting ceremony last week at the stairwell leading to the murals.

“So many books, so little time was the saying at our home for the last two months,” said Bella’s mother, Mrs. Dupont. “Bella had a busy schedule this summer with three vacations, learning to drive, and three weeks of Staging Youth’s Future Theater Camp, but she managed to squeak in 107 hours to make the English Department’s dream of book murals come true. Her whole family is very proud of her and cannot wait for the Girl Scout’s Gold Award Ceremony at the end of the school year.”

The Color Purple mural
“The Color Purple”

The Crucible mural“The Crucible”

The Great Gatsby mural “The Great Gatsby”

Into the Wild mural “Into the Wild”

Julius Caesar mural“Julius Caesar”

The Odyssey mural
“The Odyssey”

Of Mice and Men mural
“Of Mice and Men”

Macbeth mural

Romeo and Juliet mural
“Romeo and Juliet”

Secret Life of Bees mural “Secret Life of Bees”

To Kill a Mockingbird mural
“To Kill a Mockingbird”

Tuesdays with Morrie mural“Tuesdays with Morrie”