Save Roman Scott's "Moby Dick" Mural from Destruction
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In 1983, 18-year-old artist and high school senior Roman Scott painted a mural in the Sandy High School Library portraying a famous scene from Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. The life-like mural shows Captain Ahab's final battle with the white whale and covers the entire length of one library wall. The mural has inspired 34 years of students and has become a beloved fixture of the community. Roman went on to become a professional artist, illustrator, and later, art teacher.
In 2015, Roman passed away. In the last months of his life, Roman spoke about his artwork and career and expressed love for the mural he lovingly crafted and hoped that it was still around in his last months. Now, the school is up for renovations to house a new student population and the Oregon Trail School District has decided that instead of integrating this magnificent artwork into the new design, they will to paint over the wall and hang a photograph of the mural somewhere in the new space. This is an outrage.
This mural should be maintained in its current form as an expression of the artistic creativity and talent. It would be reckless to paint over such a masterful and memorable artwork. A photographic print of the original cannot completely capture the breadth and scope of this tremendous artwork that has inspired Sandy students for years.
Roman set an example for Sandy-area youth that should be remembered, and the best way for him to be remembered is to keep the mural intact, not to just have a sad photograph of the mural somewhere with the legend "Painted in 1983, painted over in 2017." Our hope is that the school district will take note of the heartfelt feelings of many local residents, Sandy alumni, and Roman's surviving family who want to save Roman's mural. We ask the Board of Directors to reconsider this action and incorporate the mural as it currently is in the renovations so that many more years of future students, faculty, alumni, and community members can enjoy the mural from a first rate artist.
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