From Student to Muralist


Max Becker, Sports Editor

If you attend Sahuaro High School, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “Cougar Pride” tossed around more than a few times, and for good reason as well; Sahuaro is an extremely prideful school. This is seen everywhere in our campus, especially in the large mural of a masterfully painted cougar keeping a watchful eye on the students cutting lunch lines in the cafeteria. But who was responsible for this mural?

Enter Camila Ibarra, a junior at Sahuaro High School. She has attended Sahuaro for all of her high school career, and has been very involved in the community. Camila is an avid contributor to our Student Council, which was the main reason the mural came about. Sahuaro’s StuCo was originally planning to paint the cafeteria a plain red and blue mix. Camila, well known for her artistic abilities, was then asked if she would like to do a mural instead. Always one to make her school a better place, she agreed immediately.

She began the process right away. She sketched up three separate designs in a single night, then asked her peers which they preferred. After reaching a general consensus, she went home that night and completely redrew the sketch in greater detail. Student Council provided the funds, the materials were purchased, and Camila began her masterpiece.

She began painting in early October 2014, with the goal of finishing before winter break in her mind. At the onset of the project, she would stay after-school one day out of the week, painting nonstop for 5 hours. However, the closer to the end of December she got, it became an everyday affair. She spent countless hours of her own time to create something beautiful for our school, and she loved every second of it.

But she didn’t stop there. After the stunning cougar mural, she volunteered to do another mural of a vivid history timeline in the Student Council room, as well as a surrealist mural of a beautiful woman with horns in the art room. Her next project planned is in Mr. Patterson’s history room.

Perhaps the most impressive quality of Camila Ibarra is her selflessness. She has gladly agreed to take on all of these projects free of charge. She simply does it out of the kindness of her heart, her love for painting, and her desire to see the high school she attends become a better place. She saw the projects as an opportunity to improve herself and her campus. She had never painted a mural before, and thought it would be the perfect chance to display her artwork and her passion for painting while at the same time inspiring school spirit.

So the next time you’re standing in the outrageously long line to get your “pizza”, take a second to step back and truly look at this mural, and hopefully your eyes will land upon the signature that is masterfully incorporated into the middle of the painting, and appreciate the time and effort that one particular junior dedicated into it. To me, Camila Ibarra is the true embodiment of “Cougar Pride”, and has hopefully inspired the same feeling into her peers.