Northern Highlands students have often wondered about the large mural over the circulation desk in the Library. Here is a little history for the curious.
1. Mrs. Rona Meyers, retired Supervisor of Guidance, from a 2007 email:
"In 1987, I was recognized by the Governor for excellence in teaching and given $3000 to use as I wished for my school. Highlands is such a beautiful school, but at the time it was missing art works that enhance an otherwise sterile environment. I love art, so I gave the gift to art teacher,Dick Brady, who painted this allegorical work. Problem is that he refused to tell us the meaning behind the symbolism, wanting us to use ourimagination to figure out at least some of it. You'll notice that he uses a backdrop that includes both locations near school--Elmer's in USR--as well as the George Washington Bridge and Manhattan. He includes some written messages, including the letters on the cheerleaders' sweaters (SANTI!). He includes animals who represent some members of our former staff (all in fun, of course) and also includes likeness of some of our colleagues. To the right of the painting, there appears to be a great hall of learning (NHRHS) where a tall man on the right, Jack Mintzer our first and long-time prinicpal, and to the left, a shorter man Jerry Hopkins our first superintendent. Both men helped to forge the culture of Northern Highlands. Mr. Brady captured their body language perfectly. Below the foregoing scene are 3 people sitting by a lake, talking. The person in the middle is Donald Ryan, first and long-time supervisor of the English department; to the left in profile is Bruce Emra, present supervisor of English. Moving to the left of the painting, see a sports car where Dick created a rendition of me--by the way I did not know what he was painting until I saw it above the library desk."
2. Mr. Richard Brady, retired art teacher and creator of the mural, left this handwritten explanation of his painting:
Some Notes on the Library Mural
Note: The theme of the mural is "The Peaceable Kingdom"
A scene in the mural depicts what was, for me, a golden moment on one of these outings. In the wane of the days' activities a number of us, students and teachers, found ourselves relaxing and conversing. Some wonderful warmth, good will and even small wisdoms must have been shared, for one young lady was suddenly moved to exclaim, "Oh, why couldn't school be always like this?"
Many have recognized various staff members int he mural and have questioned me as to other idnetities. If you feel you are somewhere in the mural you probably are. Be advised, though, that not all of us appear in our human form. In the Culvermere discussion group, for instance, I am the otter.
3. In 2008, the Fling researched the history of the mural, and Mr. Brady came to visit. The Fling published a center spread explaining many of the details in the mural. Here's what they found out: