Where’s the Mosaic? A CHS Controversy

Evan Gough and Colin Corcoran

The fate of the National Art Honor Society Mosaic Project is unclear. While the students and faculty who worked on it last year thought it would be installed at the start of the school year, now it may not be allowed to be hung at all.

County officials are concerned about installing the mosaic outside where it was first intended to be, believing that there are safety hazards, as well as the uncertainty about who will take care of the mosaic in the years to come.

The mosaic project has been going on at CHS for the past two years; the mosaic itself was completed last spring.

CHS 2014 graduate Riley Goodman’s idea of creating a new mosaic aligned with the need to replace an older, vandalized painting by the tennis courts.

The many students who worked on this project, both recent graduates and current students were upset to hear about the possibility that their project may not be hung.

Goodman, currently a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University,was the main designer and organizer of the creation.

“The original design of the mosaic, which I completed in Sharpie took me about a week to finish. As for the actual production/construction of the mosaic, it took Student Sharing and National Art Honor Society two years to complete the entire project,” he described.

NAHS teamed up with Student Sharing every day after school in Room 113 for months to work on the mosaic. Staff and students from other clubs and organizations often dropped in to help, too.

“This project which started as a simple drawing in my bedroom, developed into a school- wide project that, at the very least, 50% of the students and faculty at CHS somehow participated in. At the same time, it raised money for two great charities,” he shared.

Donations for the project were shared with two charities: Kids Helping Hopkins and The Peace Project.

“It breaks my heart that county officials would completely oppose displaying such a monumental group project without looking to create any happy medium,” Goodman stated. “The important thing is that the mosaic is hung at all, and that it is displayed somewhere to showcase all of the hard work rather than gathering dust in the arts hallway.”

NAHS sponsor and CHS art teacher Windy Spiridigliozzi is also deeply troubled by this problem with the mosaic.

“I didn’t talk about it for three days when I got the letter,” she shared.

“Ms. S,” as students call her, was head director of the entire project, and worked alongside Goodman to advance the project.

“I just think they shrugged us off,” she explained, driving the point that the county’s response is that of “ignorance.”

Part of of the disappointment is that Ms. S felt as if it was more than just a mosaic.

“It’s an design, an image that brings spirit to the school and the community,” she says.

However, Ms. S realizes that there can be a solution, and that she is the solution. She says that she can be the one to tend to the piece, and when she retires, she will make sure someone will fill that role.

While there is uncertainty with the mosaic’s fate, there still is hope yet for a solution and a new beautiful new work of art at CHS.