Sports as Art

Rombout eighth-graders paint mural near gym

By Tom Hotaling

The entryway to the Rombout Middle School gym in Beacon got a colorful upgrade last month when eighth-grade students over five days painted a mural under the direction of Joseph Pimentel, an artist who lives in Newburgh.

Rombout eighth-graders work on the mural (Photo by Joseph Pimentel)

The project was a collaboration between Pimentel, Principal Brian Soltish and science teachers Jeanette Lynch and Christina DeVall, who advise the student council, which wanted to fund a school beautification project.

The concept was to connect all the sports played at the school. The design uses silhouettes of athletes based on patterns and shapes that are connected by the bulldog mascot at its center. Pimentel created and drew the outlines and the students painted.

Rombout Principal Brian Soltish with muralist Joseph Pimentel in front of the nearly completed artwork (Photo provided)

“When the students contribute, they leave a legacy before they move on,” said Pimentel, who has collaborated with students on 20 other murals. “They can then look back and say ‘I made that mark, I made that line, I painted that shape.’ ”

Soltish said the view of the mural through the glass walls and doors of the gym, “especially at night, is just spectacular.”

Eighth-grade students at Rombout assemble in front of the mural (Photo by Joseph Pimentel)

One-third of the project was funded by the student council through proceeds from two dances. The remainder of the money came from a regional program that supports arts programming in Dutchess County schools.