By: Niya Broveak
About 15 people worked on it, but 300 showed up to witness it. The North Sioux City Fire Department has worked with the Art Club for four years to make the 9/11 memorial. On Monday, September 11, 2017, the Art Club unveiled its mural that this year’s seniors began when they were freshman. The fire department expected 20 people to show up to the event; however, after the final count, roughly 300 people showed to pay their respects.
“It took a lot of time and effort for the students to design and work together to even get it in motion, and get it completed,” said Art Club advisor, Demi Harlan. Fire Chief, Bill Pappas, received a beam from the collapse of the Twin Towers years before the mural was even thought of. Before Pappas brought the idea of a commemoration to Harlan, it was sitting in one of the back storage rooms, hidden from the eyes of the public.
The fire department went to Harlan in 2014 to ask her to paint a mural for them to pay respects for the fallen heroes and victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack. Two thousand fourteen was the first year that Harlan decided to create an Art Club specifically for people that loved art, so she decided to ask the students if they would like to take part in the mural rather than her painting the entire thing herself. The club met over the course of several Student Responsibility Blocks to finalize a design for the mural.
“It builds character knowing that we are serving others,” said Harlan on the topic of community involvement. The mural paints a picture of the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center and a city scape before a blue background of sky and water. The foreground depicts the Statue of Liberty as a firefighter to commemorate the fire department. The Art Club met regularly, twice a week, to begin the mural painting process.
“I think it’s a good reminder of things that we struggle with and finally being able to look at something completed,” said Alayna Liddiard (12). “Like, wow, we did that.” This was a major opportunity, according to Harlan, for the Art Club students to get their schools’ name into the public for not only sports, but fine arts as well. Over the course of the past two years, the Art Club has been invited to many more art shows than before, and have been given recognition for their work on a state-wide level.