Murals Painted in Honor of Gracie Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell

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Photos by Ryan Vasquez

Angel wings painted in honor of Gracie Muehlberger at Saugus High School

Ryan Vasquez, The Scroll, Co-Editor and Chief

In the last few weeks, a mural depicting angel wings honoring Gracie Muehlberger was painted on the campus of Saugus High School, with plans of a mural for Dominic Blackwell to be painted next to it in the coming week.

The artist of Gracie’s mural, Colette Miller recreated on October 31 her angel wings mural, the symbol of her  famous Global Angel Wings Project. While the artist has many different wing paintings in different colors around the world, she recreated the same set of wings that are featured at Melrose Avenue. This is in reference to  one of the Muehlberger family’s favorite pictures of Gracie, depicting her midair and jumping in front of the mural on Melrose. 

Bryan Muehlberger, Gracie’s father, told The Signal, “It looks like the wings are connected to her and she’s flying. It was just sentimental; now she’s an angel in heaven, and it really touched us.” 

Miller recalled crying when asked by the Muehlbergers to paint the mural, according to The Signal. The Muehlbergers chose this painting and these colors because they believed it represented Gracie. Miller agreed saying,“I think it’s perfect. Gracie symbolizes, to me, this innocent, young girl in pink, you know, carefree and really not afraid of anything.”

One of Gracie’s quotes from her journal entries was added to the mural (Photo by Ryan Vasquez)

While Gracie’s mural is finished and on display on campus, Dominic Blackwell’s dedicated mural is set to join in the coming weeks. Artists from Nickelodeon are expected to come to Saugus to paint a mural of SpongeBob and Patrick, recognizing Dominic’s love of SpongeBob that started when he was a child and grew over the years. 

He enjoyed SpongeBob so much because SpongeBob was like him: “Crazy, quirky, loud, dramatic, had a crazy laugh, and happy all the time,” Dominic’s mother Nancy Blackwell told The Scroll last year. 

According to Principal Vince Ferry, the Nickelodeon team is set to begin work on the mural within the next week. Ferry also expressed his gratitude for  Nickelodeon coming out to paint this specific mural, something out of the norm for the large studio.  Unfortunately, Nickelodeon could not be reached for comment at this time. 

The murals will be located on walls near the art building on lower campus and can be seen from the street. Ferry told The Scroll that the location was important because not only was it one of the few walls that could be painted on, but that he also thought the pieces would serve art students as they view different colors and textures and styles portrayed in the murals. 

The murals are a way for the community to remember Gracie and 

Dominic, and are in a place where “you are remembering joy, not sadness,” said Ferry. 

Ferry said he also,“love[s] the murals because they are interactive. I think the murals are going to be up a very long time. I think it’s a cool way to honor Gracie and Dominic in a very interactive, fun way for students.”  Ferry wants this time to be a time of healing where students can focus on happiness and not just grief.

Ferry hopes the murals, along with Gracie and Dominic’s legacy, continue on for years to come. “I love the idea that you’ll have students ten years for now, who don’t even know Dominic and Gracie, that will go up and get their pictures taken with SpongeBob and Patrick and angel wings[…] the long term joy the murals bring this community..[is] inspiring.”

 For the community, this should be a time of happiness and learning to not live in sadness, to lean one each other. These murals inspire a symbol of remembrance, a symbol that “You only have one life to live, so why not live it great, real, and fill it with memories and experiences,” just as Gracie would say.

The renovated Legacy Wall in the quad at Saugus High School (Photo by Ryan Vasquez)