BALLOU HIGH SCHOOL LOBBY MURAL
9 feet x 75 feet, oil and acrylic on canvas and wood, 2014
Jeff Whipple won a national competition for a commission to paint a 9-foot by 75-foot mural for the new 140 million dollar Ballou High School in Washington, DC. The mural is oil paint and acrylic on canvas and wood. It is in the entrance lobby of the 340,000 square foot building. Whipple designed the mural to work with the school’s motto, “Bold Leaders, Courageous Citizens, Outstanding Scholars.” It features 18 portraits of historical figures in low contrast, monochromatic blue or yellow, which are the school colors. The historical portraits have their inspirational quotes in painted text next to them. There are also three full color portraits of current, high-achieving Ballou students on panels suspended above the canvas. They represent how students will develop their potential with the help and inspiration of the historical figures. The design of the mural is also meant to reflect the scalloping elements of the exterior architecture.
Jeff Whipple posing one of the three current high school students whose portraits will be in the mural.
Jeff Whipple in front of the mural in progress.
Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel in space. Her quote says, "Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations."
Frederick Douglas is quoted on the mural with, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
Jeff with the portrait of Rosa Parks in progress.