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A New Era

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By Chris Cannon

A NEW ERA

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By CHRIS CANNON

ccannon@lafollettepress.com

 

It’s the dawning of a new era for Campbell County High School, as Lance Albright prepares to create the new mural for John R.W. Brown Gymnasium.

The 30-year old graduated from Campbell County High School in 2000 and says its an honor to be chosen as the one to paint the walls.

“I’m super stoked,” Albright said. “Out of everybody that could have possibly done it – there’s a lot of talent around here – I’m pumped that an old-timer like me gets to do it. I’m super happy about it.

“It’s an honor. I’ve lost a lot of sleep over it, honestly, because I want it to be perfect for everybody here and the kids. I want to make sure that everybody wants to be stoked about it, which I think they will be. It’s mentally demanding for me, but it’ll be worth it.”

According to Albright, he’s been doing art his entire life, beginning even before he could write.

He’s painted commercially for 15 years, while doing tattoos for the past eight or nine years.

Doing the mural is just another day.

“I’ve been doing art my whole life,” he said. “It’s my lifestyle. It’s not just something I do – it’s who I am.”

Although art is his life, Albright says the project has been a long and trying process.

So far, he’s completed the conceptual drawing of the mural, seen at the top of the sports section, but he hasn’t started on the painting, yet.

“I’ve at least put 15 hours conceptually into the Cougar – getting it laid out on paper,” Albright said. “I know I spent two long nights stressing on it. It’s takes a while get everything figured out conceptually so it looks right on the wall and on paper. That’s super tough to do.”

However, he is still happy an alumnus is doing the art for the new gym.

“I think (an alumnus painting) is everything,” he said. “Loyalty, as far as school-wise, lays a foundation for the younger kids to be loyal to their team. It sets an example for them to stick to their ties here in Campbell County. I’m from Atlanta. I moved here and went to school here. It’s special for me to get to do it. It’s super important for the kids to see it come back from a prior Cougar.”

With the old murals painted over, Albright said it’s time to jazz things up a little.

The new mural will be in spectators’ faces, giving the gym a new feel.

“It’s going to be in your face – pow,” Albright said.

“It’s gonna command your attention, you know. Command, demand, whatever you want to say – when you come in, it’s going to draw your eye, first thing. That’s why I kind of want it to look more aggressive and more graphic, and that way, it won’t be just a glance at it. Your eye will go straight to it when you walk in.”

While some alumni and Campbell County fans have spoken of their displeasure in the old murals being taken down, Albright said that part wasn’t his decision, as he understands the memories behind the nostalgic art.

However, putting a new mural in John R.W. Brown Gymnasium could be for the best.

“I know it’s super nostalgic, and a lot of people remember it from when they were in high school,” Albright said. “I hate to take away anybody’s memories of that gym, but it’s really for the best for the younger kids. It’s good for them to have something to be proud of. The younger kids look at things different than us older cats, and even older than me. I want to give them a fresh take.”

Through the process, it’s almost been like a bonding of the generations.

Greg Woodson of Woody’s Professional Services has painted over the old murals. He was part of the Class of 1981 and was in school when the original murals were painted.

Albright will begin painting the new mural after the Board of Education approval. The new mural will give the future classes something they can look on with pride.

For the artist, that’s what it should be about.

“Everybody should be involved in it,” he said. “It’s something that should really be out there. That’s something I’m really going to push. If we want a bright future for the kids, then all generations, we all, have to come together and help who’s there now.”