The Transition to the New School and What is Getting Left Behind

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BY MCKENZIE ZOBRIST AND OLIVIA SIMPSON 

The void left where alumni art used to hang leaves a lingering question in the minds of students and faculty.

Currently, the art hangs in the downstairs hallway near the art room and library. The wall exhibits artwork done by alumni who achieved a scholarship. (IMAGES BY SIMPSON)

With a remodel in sight for Mariemont High School, the topic of what stays and what goes is on many of our minds.

According to principal Dr. Renner, the school plans to return all of the alumni artwork hanging in the downstairs hallway to the artists that created them. The only pieces that 

will be carried over to the new school, are the 800 pound wooden Native American Statue that resides in a corner of the cafeteria and the countless sports trophies, medals, and championship banners, currently stored around the school and hanging in the gym.

Many students and faculty wonder why the award-winning art–done by alumni artists– is not going to be moved into the new building.

According to an opinion poll created  by @MHSWarpath_ on Instagram, 30 people voted that the artwork should be kept in the new school, and 16 people voted that the artwork should be given back to their artists.

End results of the poll: Should the alumni art be taken down for the new school? Test down on MHS Warpath Instagram account. (PHOTO BY SIMPSON)

“Honestly, I’m kind of upset,” said Lucy Dodson, a sophomore who believes the alumni art should stay. “Every day as I’m walking through the halls, I like seeing what the former students have made and it’s just kind of cool to see all the neat artwork.”

The Salvage-Auction Committee (SAC) made the decision to retire the artwork with this current building. However, plans for the new school incorporate spaces that will display student artwork. “One of the nice things about Mariemont is we are able to put things up, and no one messes with it. You can’t do that everywhere,” Dr. Renner said.

Junior Abbie Kapcar is glad the artwork is being returned to students. She said, “I think it would be cool, as we transition to a new place, to maybe keep some of the stuff, but also add artwork from more recent students so that we can bring them into the new school.”

Senior artist and Diverse Voices Competition winner, Sarah Forbes, will be the first to have her artwork hung in the new building and agrees with Kapcar. She said, “I’m happy that the art is being taken down and given back to the alumni that created the pieces because I think it’s fun and interesting to start the new school with new artwork and have it from more current artists.”

Kapcar likes the idea of artwork that blends new and old in the new school. She said, “I think as long as we incorporate stuff with our new future and with the past that we could have a good blend and keep it all together.”

The SAC Committee made the decision to keep district and state trophies along with the 800 pound wooden warrior statue in order to preserve some of MHS’s past.

The trophy case in the cafeteria holds district and state runner-up and championship trophies. (PHOTO BY ZOBRIST)

Athletic Director Mr. Nerl said, “Going forward in the new building, we will keep those trophies for 3-5 years, and then we’ll rotate them out. We’ll probably recycle them like we’ve done with a number of other trophies.”

Kapcar said, “I think the warrior statue and trophies should stay because I think that’s important to our school and who we are.”

However, many people question what significance the statue has to the school.

The warrior statue donated by the Beach family once resided in a corner of the cafeteria.(PHOTOS BY ZOBRIST)

Sophomore, Sadie Koehler said, “I believe that it is very creepy and should not be placed in our school. Especially, not in the place it is now.”

The warrior statue was originally placed in the corner of the commons and it has recently been moved to outside the doors of the main gym. 

According to Dr. Renner, the statue was given by the Beach Family, and the school didn’t know what to do with it because of the lack of space in the building.

“I wish that the warrior statue was made by a Mariemont student or Native American artist so that it’s more significant to us, instead of it being just a warrior statue that we don’t know the origins of,” Forbes said.

The designers for the new school are also a part of the SAC. They’ve decided to brand the school with warrior heads and the slogans: Be Better and Scholars of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow.

But students, like Sarah Forbes, and sophomore, Wyatt LeMay, are questioning their decision and believe there may be other alternatives.

LeMay said, “I think we should hang artwork [instead of having branding on the walls], artwork is more unique than putting the same logo everywhere.”

Forbes believes it may date the school in a negative way. “I think that a shift towards not using the people we’ve killed as our mascot is a good shift,” she said. “I’m not saying that we need to do that right now, but I think that shift is coming and it’s going to be very embarrassing if we’re not ahead of that curve.”