To the left of the main office and down the hall from Parkview High School’s library, muralist Cbabi Bayoc prepares his canvas.
“I’ve painted more than 20 murals in schools, but not many high schools,” he says, tapping blue painter’s tape 20 feet wide. “At this age, it’s great for them to see an artist who is doing what they love and making a living doing it. But it’s always fun to paint in schools.”
From Sept. 8-17, St. Louis-based muralist Cbabi will be an Artist in Residence at Parkview High School. During every school day, Parkview students will get to watch Cbabi transform a light drenched hallway into an artistic depiction of Parkview’s mission: elevating and celebrating all learners and their success.
“We had a number of students who participated in a Zoom panel with Cbabi, and they shared what they wanted the mural to include,” said Ashley Bolling, Parkview art teacher. “Students shared consistently that they wanted a mural with students who looked like them: all ages, all identities, all ability levels. This mural is for everyone, and the students are a big part of that.”
Over the course of the residency, students will join Cbabi in painting the mural. They’ll paint solid colors, details and phrases already selected by Parkview students in an initial design, but Cbabi always loves seeing a concept evolve into a final piece.
“The students, they provide their own elements, and together, we make something unique,” he said. “They learn that it’s just paint, and we go one stroke at a time. Once they figure out that it’s not scary or hard to create, anything’s possible.”
Cbabi’s week-long Artist in Residence program is made possible by a grant through the Thomas H. and Josephine Baird Memorial Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.