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Kobe Bryant Mural in Stairwell

Jeselys Vazquez

Volume 4 Issue 4

May 29, 2024

Kobe Bryant Mural in Stairwell

Image Provided by Elaine Ching

A beautiful masterpiece, the Kobe Bryant mural by the stairwell was created by Mr. Nafte’s students. It all started with an assignment known as the “Pivotal Portrait” which had students from different classes participate in it. 


According to Mr. Nafte, “the assignment is usually geared towards teaching student artists about value, tints, shades, monochromatic understanding, and the use of the medium selected for the initial portrait study,” so this year, students in Drawing and Painting electives selected Kobe Bryant. Due to his death in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, it has been a popular theme in the art world all around to present or make something in his honor by fans and artists in different parts of the world. For instance, the Lakers continue to honor his memory; talented people have made canvas paintings, sharing them live on various social media platforms and have shared how they are affected by it and their thoughts. 


In this case, our North High School’s creative students voted on a Kobe Bryant mural for the 3rd floor stairwell. Prior to the creation of the mural, students were given an assignment stating that they had to research a person they believe would be an inspiration to our Valley Stream North community, and  once they finished researching, they presented it to the class for a vote and whoever ended up with the most votes from the class was the winner that got to be the person who decided the subject of the Pivotal Portrait. 


Did you know that there was a lesson behind it all with the medium of watercolors? As Mr. Nafte explains, “this year’s Kobe Bryant was a lesson in understanding, using, and experimenting with watercolor and how to appropriately apply watercolor in layers to achieve a variety of tints and shades, bringing the illusion of space and 3 dimensions to the viewer”. This kind of project takes about three weeks. In the first week students begin researching, in the second week they practice a variety of techniques on smaller-sized portions of paper to get the basic dynamic of watercolors, the medium, in this case, and in the last week, the students enlarge the scale to create the portrait and make an impression on our remarkable Valley Stream North High School community! 


Not only does the Kobe Bryant mural stand as a testament to artistry but also as a poignant homage to an incredible icon in NBA history whose legacy and hard work continues to reverberate across the realms of art and beyond. I can’t wait to see what else Mr. Nafte has up his sleeve to shock us all and be part of the marvelous creations that “spice” up our way to class and make us take a moment to appreciate it. 

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