WATERLOO — Eight Waterloo High art students love to paint.
They also enjoy “gaming” or playing video games.
Those two passions are coming together as art teacher Sarah Carey’s students are painting a special mural that will be placed in the new Uproar Gaming store downtown.
School Superintendent Terri Bavis and Village Administrator Don Northrup talked about the collaboration and helped make it a reality. The village helped Uproar owner Trevor Hoff get the business up and open in the former Tally-Ho when that space became vacant.
Bavis was asked if high school art students would be willing to create a mural for the gaming store. “They were originally talking about a mural on a brick wall in Uproar, but that wasn’t possible. It was something that had to be done here at school,” Carey said. “So we put the idea to the kids and they agreed. They decided to paint a mural depicting many of the Nintendo characters such as Mario and Plumber, and others on a piece of sheetrock.”
The finished product, which is 10 to 14 days away from completion, would be put in a wood frame. Carey wants to have wheels put on the bottom to allow the mural to be moved around Uproar wherever Hoff wants.
The school’s technology department across the hall is helping out by having students create special wood plaques with each of the contributing student artists names.
Student Anthony DeFrancesco is painting Pac Man and Sonic. Bethany Ovenshire is painting Yoshi, Jessica Meyer is painting Squid Girl, Juliette Kanady is painting Squirtle and Zoldak, Alexandra Nicolini is painting Mario, Ashton Shanken is painting a Pokémon character, Kailynn Doyle is doing a character named Wolf and Jocelyn Dressing is painting the Uproar logo, which features a detailed dragon.
“I know nothing about these games or characters, but these kids sure do,” Carey said.
Nicolini said she grew up playing Super Mario with her father, so she was most familiar with that character. “It’s a difficult character to capture. We all sketched the characters first and then filed them in with paint. Mrs. Carey taught me a lot on how to do this,” she said.
The eight students work on the mural during their “Tribe Time” or free periods during the day, not as part of their regular class art work.
“It’s fun and my character was the first one that came to mind. I like to play video games and since I like to pattn human anatomy, I enjoy doing this,” Shanken said. Like Nicolini, she grew up playing video games with her father and brother.
Dressing also proudly proclaimed herself as a “gamer” and said she and her father, Daniel, like to play Dungeons n’ Dragons.