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Giant mural declares this is Titan territory

By KBell
Dec. 31, 2011 at 6:31 a.m.
Updated Dec. 31, 2011 at 7:01 p.m.

On a wall outside the gymnasium stands a nearly finished example of the mural currently being painted on Wednesday at Victoria East High School. The Titan will greet all visitors entering the gymnasium, otherwise called "Titan Territory."

One more gift awaits the Victoria East Titans when they return from Christmas break: three giant murals of their beastly namesake.

Just inside the school's back doors, near the gym, a fierce-faced Titan bursts from a formerly beige wall. Mid-battle cry with his sword drawn, the Titan's greeting is just as much a warning: "Welcome to Titan Territory."

"This is well worth the investment to continue to create that culture that we have been building upon at Victoria East. We're trying to make it us," Principal Greg Crockett said.

Crockett said he's been wanting to put the Titan mark on the school since it first opened for the 2010-11 school year. Building warranty formalities forced the school to wait a year before painting, but once the ball was rolling, it was rolling fast.

Just before Christmas break, Crockett hooked up with Jason Patterson, of Patterson Designs, based in the Houston area. Within two weeks, Patterson, 34, was in the hallways of East High School, sketching out the mural.

Patterson, who has family ties to East High School, said he was excited to work with a new school district - especially one with a Titan mascot, which he'd never painted. He took cues from the existing Titan helmet design and created a brawny, raging god whose sword spewed lightning the length of the gym entrance.

"I think everything about the Titan is massive and huge. That's why I wanted to make them bigger than life," said Patterson, his neck tilted back to view a half-finished mural. "I think we're pushing the envelope to go bigger and better than ever before."

In only a week, with a few late nights that stretched into the early morning, the East Titan mural was complete.

Crockett said students and parents who have had a sneak peak at the murals over the break have been impressed with the 3-D designs.

He thinks the art will foster the sense of Titan identity and unity the school's been trying to build.

"We owe it to the community and to the kids who are coming up, to ensure that we're creating the type of environment that they want to be a part of and that parents want their kids to be a part of," he said.

School pride is Patterson's business. He's been designing murals for schools for about two years. He said one of the most rewarding parts of his job is seeing the excitement a little art can conjure up.

"It adds a tremendous amount of spirit when you go from a blank, dull wall to something the community can be proud of," Patterson said.

He's scouted out a few more blank walls on the East campus, too. With the student council funding one of the current murals, Crockett said the school may look into more of Patterson's proposals to bring wall art to East High School.

That's usually how it goes, Patterson said.

"Most schools, when they get a mural, it's like getting a tattoo. They want more."



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