Konawaena Launches a Rocking Mural

Ronald Crivello-Kahihikolo, writer

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Keisha Colon, a senior at Konawaena High school, designed a rocket-shaped mural which embeds a quote from Elision Onizuka’s graduation commencement speech in 1980. The mural faces the mountains on the elevator shaft of the Q Building. Keisha came up with the idea of making it into a rocket after Michelle Obregon requested that she design a mural with this particular quote in mind:

Your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but by what your mind can imagine. Many things that you take for granted were considered unrealistic dreams by previous generations. If you accept these past accomplishments as commonplace then think of the new horizons that you can explore.

From your vantage point, your education and imagination will carry you to places which we won’t believe possible.

Make your life count – and the world will be a better place because you tried.

The “fire” for this idea sparked in the second quarter and the finished design began to be put up in the third. Confusion is stirring around campus about whether or not the space-tacular mural is done, but colors have yet to be added, as well as finishing touches.

The late Ellison Onizuka is perhaps one of the most famous names to have come out of Konawaena High School, and this mural pays direct tribute to him. He was just a small town boy from Hawaii, and managed to make it all the way to being an astronaut for NASA. To Keisha, this mural serves as a reminder that all of the small-town students that they’re capable of accomplishing significant things and have the potential to improve the world around them. This is Keisha’s gift to Konawaena—this is her legacy.

Chunks of the mural were put up in different ways, but for the most part, the Photoshop document was projected up onto a large paper and traced, which would be plastered directly on the wall with temporary adhesive. Before the sheet with the outline could be taken outside, however, holes were punched along the lines of the letters. Once the paper was stuck to the wall, spray paint was shot through and left an outline for the painters to use as a guideline.

Some difficulties that came up during the process was that the mural had to be a fixed quite a few times because of placement problems. More recently, though, a problem that continues to come up is the lacrosse players throwing their balls up against the wall for practice, which causes the paint to chip. Keisha says she would like to put up a protective layer to keep the mural up for as long as possible, but damage is already being done.

The painting of the mural was done primarily by Keisha Colon and Michelle Obregon, along with students from other classes and other members of the Konawaena staff.

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