Inspiration, competition, great art


Caitlin Danborn

Larysa Medina, sophomore, stands in front of the mural that she designed with National Art Honors Society.

Caitlin Danborn

Tucked in the north east corner by the art rooms, a colorful mural pops out against the ordinarily bland white walls. The mural features the bright blue, yellow, and white of the Colorado flag with the purple and white A-West logo in the center of the yellow flag. Tubes of paint, brushes, pencils, crayons, markers, ceramic pots, jewelry, and a digital camera surround the yellow middle of the Colorado flag.  


The mural has been a work in progress since December 2016 when sophomore Larysa Medina won a competition within A-West’s National Art Honors Society to design the masterpiece.


NAHS members were instructed to include a Colorado theme in the mural and to incorporate mountains. “The original [prompt] was supposed to be to incorporate mountains, but I got to go maybe a little bit different because I couldn’t really see how to put mountains in it so I decided to do the Colorado flag,” says Medina.


After Medina’s design was chosen by Mr. Dalton, the digital photography teacher at A-West, and Mrs. Dalton, Arvada West’s jewelry and ceramics teacher, who are National Art Honors Society’s teacher sponsors, the club began putting the mural on the wall in January.


NAHS is a club “for students that are specifically good at [. . .] visual arts. It’s kind of an honors society for that,” according to Medina. To join NAHS, members must attend meetings on the second Tuesday of every month. They also must complete six community service hours per semester and have a GPA of 2.0.  


Medina is no stranger to art or art competitions. She has been interested in art “ever since I can remember,” and she is in ceramics class.


She started doing art competitions in seventh grade, and she currently competes in art competitions through Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Journey Through Our Heritage. JTOH is a program created by the university to “engage students in a yearlong program that enhances the public school systems curriculum in the areas of African American, Native American Chicano/a, Mexicana/o, Mexican American and Latina/o Studies,” according to the program’s website. She won first place for the art theme based on history of labor.


Medina hopes that her mural “inspires students to take art more.”

Medina won first place for the art theme based on history of labor for the Journey Through our Heritage art competition, sponsored by Metropolitan State University of Denver.