Roseburg High School is a second home for senior Quinlan Wedge, and now she’s working to spruce it up as she gets ready to move on.
Wedge proposed painting a mural on the wall of the commons building, facing the student center, earlier this school year and got approval from RHS Principal Jill Weber to start on a sleek, modern design of trees that will get lighter as they fade into the background.
“I wanted to create something universally liked,” she said.
Wedge has walked by the empty, light gray wall more than most.
Her mother, Rachel Jackson, teaches at RHS and Wedge liked to hang out in her classroom after school when she was in elementary and middle school. But even before that, Wedge attended the preschool at the high school.
“This is my second home and I wanted to leave behind a mark,” she said.
She’s always loved painting and creating art, so walking by that “boring” wall day after day inspired her.
“A lot of people walk by here,” Wedge said. “The walls are blank and I wanted to make something to brighten people’s day.”
Wedge started the mural by painting the lightest trees near the top last week. She’ll probably start the second “layer” of trees this week.
Occasionally she gets help from other students to fill in big sections of green, but most of the work is done by Wedge herself.
In addition to painting the mural, the high school senior also started a community clothes closet at the school as president of the Key Club, a junior branch of the Kiwanis.
The closet is open every Wednesday after school for students to get clothing or toiletries they may need. Community members and students can drop off clothing at the front office to stock the closet.
Wedge is also president of the National Honor Society and in leadership positions with UDub Club and Math Club, a lacrosse player and a semifinalist for the RHS Foundation Future First Citizen Award.
While Wedge is especially proud of the closet, she said it was art that pulled her out of an especially dark spot last year.
“The only thing I did was make art,” she said. “I just funneled my frustration in the art, instead of doing something I was going to regret.”
What also helped was the support of her arts teacher, Nathan Eckman, and math teacher, Joe Richards.
She hopes to one day be able to return that favor as a high school art teacher. Wedge plans to double major in art and design and education at Western Oregon University in the fall.
For now, she’ll be working on the mural anytime it isn’t raining. Wedge hopes to have the mural done around spring break.