New mosaic to replace previous Art Club mural

A Thunderbird for the new mosaic sits in a cardboard box with other tiles.

Photo Credit: Emily Wilson

A Thunderbird for the new mosaic sits in a cardboard box with other tiles.


A Thunderbird for the new mosaic sits in a cardboard box with other tiles.
A Thunderbird for the new mosaic sits in a cardboard box with other tiles. Photo by Emily Wilson.

During their junior year, now seniors Mia Cox, Kaitlyn Carter, and Brianna Davis worked and talked with art teacher Paula Yoachim about replacing the mural outside the art room with a new piece of art. By second semester of their senior year, they had the idea for the art piece and made it into their own semester-long project.

“When we first started thinking about it we knew that we needed the T-bird,” Carter said. “Other than that, we didn’t really have anything to go off of.”

They decided they wanted to make a mural that would relate to Bellevue West and the entire community. Carter said Yoachim described a vision she had for the mural. It would be divided into three panels and each of the seniors had been assigned to one of those panels and worked on that piece throughout the semester.

The three pieces they chose to focus on were past, present, and future. The past, made by Davis, would focus on the Native American tribes that live in Nebraska. The present, made by Carter, would be the T-bird for Bellevue West and Cox is in charge of the third panel which focuses on the future.

“It has Omaha and a little bit of the airplanes to represent Offutt and the corn for the fields and some sandhill cranes and the river and the pedestrian bridge,” Cox said.

While each artist has her independency over her piece of the mosaic, they still have to work together as a team to complete a project of its size. They also don’t have many restrictions on what their panel consists of but they need to rely on each other because they’re all unified in the mural.

Davis and Cox decided to work together so the past and present pieces mirrored each other. The teepees in the past would mirror the pedestrian bridge in the future and the Native American girl would mirror the sandhill crane.

“It was really about place and how at Bellevue West everybody finds their niche, and it was really about identity and place,” Yoachim said. “So they wanted to honor the past, celebrate the present and look to the future so they just kind of came up with panels of the past, the present–which that’s our logo and all of our clubs and teams and things–and then the future is the Omaha skyline and where they’ll go from here.”

The artists have dedicated their second semester to this project and even came to school a day off of their spring break to work on it and hope to have it done by the end of the school year–even if it means coming back after the rest of the seniors are gone.

“I like the actual seeing it come together because you get to see what really went well together, what didn’t and even though you can’t change a lot of things you get to see how it gets there,” said Davis.

One of the biggest challenges the artists have had so far is working together as a team to complete the project. There’s also the possibility at any point of a piece of clay breaking, which would mean that they would have to completely remake them.

While the artists have all heard remarks made about the current piece of art that’s on display now, they think that people will like the one they’re working on. Cox is optimistic for the responses of the new piece and is glad she was able to be a part of creating something that will be a lasting impression at Bellevue West.

“There may be some kids that wonder what happened to the old one, but I think it’s just so good that it’s going to be positive,” Yoachim said.

Emily Wilson