[This article was written by GCAA 9th grader Joerdan Carney, a member of the GCAA Website Reporting Club. Joerdan also took these photographs--Click on the photos for higher res versions, and see the gallery at the very bottom of this article for all of Joerdan's photos]. Have you seen the painting coming to life on the first floor of GCAA? Visual Arts teacher Ms. Clayton offered an independent art study class for the second semester, an idea she got from the parents and students of GCAA. This class provides an opportunity for selected students to create a art project as a group. They collaborate on a large-scale project, developing their artistic abilities as they work. The first-floor hallway mural is the first of (hopefully) many to come. The Art Department plans to regularly offer the independent art study class so that students create a large-scale project each year. These projects will “slowly transform the school walls into a strong representation of who we are as a school!” Mrs. Clayton exclaimed. Many students from all grades will have a chance to contribute and “enhance the aesthetics of the school interior.” The current project is a mural just off of the first floor lobby space, a painting that depicts an underwater scene. Before paint was applied, the students sketched this project on paper and it was approved by Mrs. Glickert and Mrs. Hoffman. The students then transferred their drawing onto the wall and began to paint. The silver temple on the south wall depicts a student’s vision of Atlantis, with symbols representing the arts "carved" into the steps. Near the doorway leading to the cafeterias, a school of fish swims; each one is unique; many of them carry objects like a paint brush or sheet music. A mermaid lingers by each doorway and a blue whale peers down from above. Jellyfish float about among an abundance of other sea life, like the eel winding it’s way around a cluster of coral and the purple octopus emerging from a sunken piano. Once the mural is complete, observers will have the experience of standing underwater enjoying the sea life teeming all around.