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The North Bend Eagle


The new tiger mural in the NBC gym
This new mural was painted by NBC art teacher Dan Wright as soon as school let out in May.

New tiger lording over NBC gym

by Nathan Arneal
Published 7/13/11

There’s a new cat in town, one Tiger fans and opponents alike will notice as soon as they enter the NBC gym this fall.

A new mural on the gym’s east wall replaces the former Tiger painting that had been peering over its tartan dominion since the 1982.

NBC principal Brenda Petersen said replacing the old Tiger mural had been in the back of her mind since returning to NBC a few years ago.

“You look at those nice big (state championship) banners and they’re all nice and white,” Petersen said. “Then you’d see the Tiger and it was yellowed.”

With the high school building undergoing major renovations this summer, including new, brighter lights in the gym, the timing was right for a new tiger mural.

“It was aged,” Petersen said. “It needed either a facelift or a new tiger. After talking to some of the kids and the staff, they thought if we’re going to do something, let’s do something new.”

Petersen approached art teacher Dan Wright about the project. After researching different designs and seeing examples of what other schools had done on the Internet, Wright came up with three new designs. Petersen put the designs to a vote of the student body this spring, and the winning design featuring a close-up of a menacing Tiger face “won by a landslide,” she said.

The old tiger muralTHE BEFORE SHOT: The previous Tiger mural had watched over the NBC gym from 1982 to the spring of 2011.

Before the old mural was painted over, the original artists were invited to a ceremony at NBC’s Mayfest celebration to get one last look at their handiwork.

Art Club members Lionel Whitemagpie, Mike LeGrande, Mary Hall, and Holly Kahler painted the original mural in the fall of 1982 under the direction of art teacher Mescal Smeal. Prior to that time, the wall had been blank, with a row of pennants representing the schools of the East Husker Conference hanging near the top of the wall.

This spring, Hall (now Mary Roy) and the mother of LeGrande attended the Mayfest farewell ceremony.

“After 30 years, it still was a good look for the North Bend Tigers,” Roy told the Eagle at the time. “The look held up well. It wasn’t trendy.”

As soon as school let out in May, Wright went to work. First he covered the old mural with black paint. Then the tedious task of stenciling the new image began.

“We were going to try to project (the new image on the wall), but that basketball hoop doesn’t move,” Wright said. “If you tried to go around it, the picture was so distorted that it wasn’t worth it. So I just did it with individual stencils.”

Wright ended up making 24 stencils, each about 3-by-4 feet. Making the stencils took two days, with another couple of days spent tracing the stencils onto the wall.

“I got the whole thing done in less than two weeks,” Wright said, “but some of those days were long days.”

Wright had to hustle to finish the mural before June 1, when the other refurbishing work began in the school.

The only thing left to do on the mural is to paint a black outline around the bright orange wording “Home of the Tigers” printed below the Tiger face.

New NBC tiger from the free throw line.Free throw shooters will have the eye of the tiger upon them.

“Other than that, it’s done,” Wright said. “I like it. I think it came out all right.”

One of the best places to view the mural is from the east free throw line on the basketball court. From there, a shooter is going to have to block out the Tiger scowl bearing down on them.

“Isn’t that awesome?” Petersen said. “You see those Tiger eyes looking right at you. I think that would be a little intimidating.”

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