Senior Dining Hall Renovation – Not Well Received


The gray panels hanging on the wall above black and silver color scheme, photo by Patty Zaragoza


The “new” Senior Dining Hall is perplexing; as colorful and vibrant as the new mural may be, there are a few negative opinions that stem from the design of surrounding decoration.

One of the torquoise panels on the walls, photo by Patty Zaragoza

The first flaw coming out of the redesign are the “contemporary” art pieces surrounding the space. Looking closely the pieces are messy and look rushed, failing to compliment the area with color clash and eye-catching detail. The replacement of the former curtains to what look like large black sheets of butcher paper darken the room, while the lack of drapes on the windows shine migraine-inducing light into the room.

The best part of the new dining room is the mural. Although many see the mural to be “random” and “not stylistic”, the brahma has a representation of how varied the students of MacArthur are. The holistic looking mural gives a unique addition to the school, and definitely gives students something to look at that can be appreciated as art.

However, the opinions of students matter aside form individual analysis. Some very bold and opinionated views are expressed here;

New art panels decorating the Senior Dining Hall, photo by Patty Zaragoza
Overall, I think the Senior Dining Hall appears to be very rushed. The colors clash, the accents are sloppy, and the add-ons; such as the hanging pieces of “art” are tacky. The room lacks a theme, and it is just an assortment of colorful objects hung along the walls, with a small smeared mural in the center of a vast white back wall. I can see where the idea of modern art and lack of preparation collided.

I appreciated the effort– but it just wasn’t as good as it could have been. I love graffiti and often marvel at its beauty, but it looked rushed and sloppy. The artist has great potential, unfortunately, it didn’t show in this particular piece.

The mural looks like a really bad tattoo. The color scheme is completely off balance with gray canvases hanging on the wall and a rainbow catastrophe that is the mural.

The newly redone senior dinning hall has a cafe/bistro feel. The mural is upbeat but the color scheme was awkward. The stool tables are a fun addition. The small wall paintings are confusing and look poorly made.


New art panels decorating the Senior Dining Hall, photo by Patty Zaragoza

My take on the senior dining hall was that it looked a lot more spacious. But aside from that, the decorating was random with gray panels that had colored lines and in the far back was a brahma head and torso that had tentacle looking things coming from the back of it. Artistically it didn’t make sense nor did it represent anything evident to me.

Many students (understandably) have a real problem with the panels strung up around the walls. The pieces miss character, and when looked at closely the paint looks as though it is not yet dry with some paintbrush hairs stuck in the canvas.

The big eye catcher is the mural. A Brahma coming out of a sea of rainbows could potentially represent MacArthur’s vivacious personality, but the execution is strange at best. The air brushed color and acrylic paint mix doesn’t do the piece justice.

Thoughts on the new mural are as follows;

The problem with the senior dining hall is the entire idea wasn’t thought out very well. The mural is a good idea, but it completely clashes with the rest of the hall and was hastily executed, as evidenced by the shaky airbrush strokes. Its bright, rainbow colors definitely make a statement, but it’s one that echoes through the emptiness that is the rest of the hall. The very 70s, revivalist kind of vibe looks dwarfed against the plain white background, and the consistency is further interrupted with the surrounding royal blue walls, which completely clash with the mural’s color.

There are some possible remedies though. For one, the mural could be made an ongoing gift that senior classes add to each year, in an attempt to fill up the white space. The extravagant color scheme provides for a variety of additional styles. The other solution is to rework the entire styling of the room. The flat royal blue walls, weird attempts at “modern art” that hang on the walls, and black and silver accents should be taken away. They serve only to make the room a cold, uncomfortable environment, a feeling opposite to that which the mural inspires. Either go bright and go big or decide on a simple, safe theme. This mis-matched potpourri of colors and styles HAS TO GO.

The new mural at the back of the Senior Dining Hall, photo by Patty Zaragoza

The Senior Dining Hall went from a relaxed cafe style room to a room with big expectations not met. The mural on the wall is a great design and a great piece of work, but the rainbows and vivaciousness of it set the room up for a funky upbeat theme which was not at all how the room was redesigned. Maybe some upbeat pieces that tie the bland chairs and tables together to the mural and theme of it all would have added some jazz to the relaxed vibes of the furniture and helped the overall room to look better. The wood pieces on the wall that were painted with gray stripes, featuring one color like blue or red, are completely random and did not add to the theme or feel. They also stole attention fro the mural and after seeing it you couldn’t help but feel it didn’t help the theme and added a nasty, busy feel to the walls. Like there were no ideas for what should be there and the whole room was rushed to be finished. Overall the room was okay, it was busy and had some random pieces to it, but if they would have spent some more time on jazzing up the room it would have been a more revived and refreshed room, and a very cool place.

Change is good, but the Senior dining hall isn’t what it used to be. Although I’m only a junior, I’ve spent some time in the dining hall and I’m not overall satisfied with the new look. The multiple colors on the mural was a good idea, but the colors clash, leaving the viewer unable to recognize any color scheme. The whole design looks a little rushed, as if the artists woke up on Sunday and thought, “holy crap, I have to finish that mural”. I do believe, however, that the dining hall could be improved with some curtains, more visuals hung up on the wall, or at least something to take up more space. The place just seems too empty and simply needs additions to give it a more exclusive appearance than the regular old cafeteria.

new panels of art (above) new curtains (front)

I think that the mural in the dining hall is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l, but the pictures on the walls are….not. They would look better if the color of the stripes matched the colors used in the mirror, like the red and the orange. Then I would be able to actually visualize somewhat of a color scheme.

Ultimately, the new additions can be taken and appreciated with expressions of gratitude (or disgust). Drop by the Senior Dining Hall to make your own opinion.

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Brahma News is the official news source for the MacArthur High School students and community.

2 thoughts on “Senior Dining Hall Renovation – Not Well Received

  1. Many people have seen the senior dinning room and would agree that it wasn’t done “right”. But, does that give them a reason to re-paint it?

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