WTHS Art Students to Create a Mural in Memory of Teacher

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Washington Township High School art students from Lauren Cichoski’s pottery classes will embark on an emotional project that will pay tribute to English teacher Chris Lawler, who succumbed to cancer in August of 2014.
The mosiac mural, set to be located on a wall just past the core entrance to the building, will measure approximately 13x24 feet, extending from ceiling to floor, and will depict a scene from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby.
“When considering how the staff and students wanted to memorialize Mr. Lawler, I thought what better a way than by depicting a character from one of his favorite books The Great Gatsby,” Cichoski said. “Mr. Lawler himself was a big character and an inspiration to both students and staff. He had a great passion for teaching and for American literature, and he was very much what he taught. I sketched the design of the mural because the message from the picture, the book, and the life of Chris Lawler all speak to the need to not live in the past, but to look to the future and to keep moving on.”
With nearly $1,200 in funds supplied from the Washington Township Education Foundation, Cichoski purchased supplies, including clay that that will be crafted, fired, and glazed by her students. Using tile cutters and other tools, the tiles will be broken into jagged-edged pieces and puzzled back together to re-create the original painting in a dramatic 3-D design. A portrait of Lawler will be displayed alongside the mural.
“My students are anxious to get started because it is not every day that they have an opportunity to create a project of this magnitude,” Cichoski said.  “I think Mr. Lawler would be thrilled, honored, and humbled by our gesture. He is still here. He will always be here. It is a big undertaking, but I think it will be well-received."