Artist Emma Aurillo Carries on Tradition of Art in the School

Fairfield Ludlowe’s newest mural is being painted this year by senior Emma Aurillo. Located next to Ms. Sarah Huntington’s (Hunt) room (243), the piece will eventually depict a scene inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

Aurillo started out by brainstorming ideas with her homeroom teacher, Hunt, deciding that she “wanted to make something magical.” With Hunt’s sole request of incorporating a tree into the design, Aurillo chose to base her creation off of Alice in Wonderland.

Aurillo described that “at the top, you have the more natural world, while at the bottom there’s neons and brights, and almost a hallucinogenic feeling to it.”

Aurillo pointed out that the mural is not complete. She and Hunt attribute this to her precision and perfectionist mentality. At this point, she has invested nearly 30 hours into the mural, taking the time to fix details and painting over aspects she doesn’t love.

Hunt’s classroom walls are decorated with murals by former students, all of which connect back to the literature she teaches. Hunt noted that Aurillo “was always inspired by the art” in her room.

Aurillo also said, “I’d always wanted to try to paint something in the school, kind of to leave a mark.” It’s with this spirit that Hunt has kept the tradition of her students adding to her walls. Hunt feels that “it’ll be nice to have a little bit of her after she’s left.”

“Emma’s cheerful and she’s always so welcoming,” Hunt said. Aurillo went on, “I’m also very close with Ms. Hunt.”

Hunt emphasized how she values these connections that she can make with students in homeroom.

Their relationship, and Hunt’s commitment to her students and a lively classroom were important factors in Emma’s decision to paint a mural beside the classroom.

There’s a lesson to be learned in Aurillo’s adventure. She explained that Hunt’s walls create a classroom atmosphere that students can appreciate, which is why expanding art in the school is such a positive thing.

Principal Greg Hatzis commented, “it’s a great way to show that students can leave a small piece of history behind.” 

Hunt and Hatzis agree that student contributions to the school are of the utmost importance. Aurillo’s dedication in this way is a continuation of the tradition of school artists before her that faculty appreciate.

Students appreciate the efforts that their peers put in for the benefit of the school community. “Every mural brightens up the school and tells a story,” Katie Torello added.

In order to continue to build a sense of school spirit and pride, this legacy of decorating the walls with the art of the students who pass through them must be carried on. “I almost wish that in the bathrooms there was all this art,” Hunt asserted.

As much as the walls may appear to be complimented by the murals that have been painted, there is so much more that can be done to beautify the school and make the students an active part of that.

Hunt’s efforts to connect her students with her classroom and the school through art have been successful, and she is not alone in this effort.

Going forward, these artistic sensibilities will help foster a sense of school spirit and should be made more common.