In hues of vibrant colors and with strokes of a paint brush, a young artist captured a Papillion gem in a mural.
David O’Connell, a senior at Papillion-La Vista High School, painted a mural of Halleck Park that will be on display at Sump Memorial Library, 222 N. Jefferson St., through the end of May.
The 7-by-4-foot artwork, made with acrylic paint, was originally designed for the PLV winter formal to be used as a backdrop for photos. With the theme of Winter Wonderland, O’Connell said he wanted to capture something wintry and whimsical.
O’Connell described his painting as “expressive” and said he wanted his mural to get students excited for the dance.
“Kids aren’t getting excited for dances anymore and I wanted to show some school spirit,” O’Connell said.
While O’Connell has been doing art since he was a child, his love for painting developed his freshman year of high school, he said.
“It comforts me. I feel confident when I paint,” he said.
Throughout his high school career, O’Connell took art classes and continued to grow as an artist.
“I can’t believe the things I can paint today,” he said.
His favorite medium is acrylic paint because it is better for the environment as opposed to oil paint, he said. While he enjoys capturing landscapes and nature, he loves painting faces most.
“There’s so much uniqueness in a person’s face,” he said.
To O’Connell, having his art displayed at Sump is an honor.
“It’s really neat to have it put in the library and to get my name out there,” he said.
Through his art, O’Connell said he hopes to bring color into the world.
After high school, O’Connell said he plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha to study art. While his future endeavors are uncertain, he said, he knows there’s a reason he was given this talent.
“There’s a purpose for me to paint,” he said. “I want to be able to share my talent for people to enjoy.”
Artists Albert Rhea and Ron Brooks will also have works on display through the end of May.