Outstretched Hand

Title:  Outstretched Hand
Artist:  Mr. Gregory Chapman and Collaborative Student Group*
Medium:  Original Watercolor Studies and Acrylic Painting on Board
Dimensions: 12′ x 12′
Location:  St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road
Owner:  CUSD303
Map Locator Number:  #3

Story:   In life we have adversity.  Life is filled with trouble.  Some have learned to accept this fact and have found joy in the midst of their troubles.  Others have not yet learned this secret.  This mural suggests that the secret of life is finding joy in all circumstances and that joy is complete when you reach out to those in need.  Any one of us at any time can be the fearful one, tense with anxiety.  We all need a helping hand to hold in the tough times of life.

The life side of this mural illustrates the difficulties and hardships of life by having them represented with abstract sharks, crocodiles, and monsters.  The many jagged edges are the “teeth” of life that bite down hard on a person.  The person shown in this section is tense with anxiety and fear.  His problems are overwhelming him.

To the right side of the mural is a similar situation with many monsters and creatures baring teeth and biting down hard.  A shark has even swallowed a person in the bottom left of the scene (just like Jonah and the Great Fish).  However, on this side the main person represented is calm and steady with hope and joy.  This person is not only dealing with his circumstances well but is also reaching out across the gap to the overwhelmed person on the left.

The center section is symbolic of the great chasm that can exist between those in need and those who can help.

A magical radiance surrounds the entire scene to portray the life-giving magic that can occur when a caring person reaches out to another in need.  This magic can stretch across great chasms and transform the downtrodden into brilliant beings of hope.

All those who worked diligently on the creation of this mural would like to encourage you to enjoy it often, and hope it will be a strong visual of what it looks like to overcome adversity.  May it remind you to live life fully regardless of your circumstances and help others do the same.

When you are weak or afraid, let an outstretched hand reach you.

When you are strong, be the hand that reaches out to others.

* The plaque which accompanies the piece, and explains it’s origins.

“Art located within the school is available for viewing by contacting the school ahead of time and setting an appointment.  Normal security measures apply. ”
St. Charles East High School Phone Number: 331.228.4000

Photographs for the SCAC by A.K. Furio.