Where Did The CHS Graffiti Wall Start?

Lulu Jennings

CHS is most commonly known for our creative mindset and incredible arts programs. On the other hand, we are less- known for our traditions. One tradition we do have is the graffiti wall located all along the parking lot outside of the school. This wall has been filled with student art for years and years and is an iconic part of CHS. The CHS graffiti wall is incredibly unique, but does anyone really know how it started? 

A junior, Assia Koreyon, was asked about her knowledge and experience with our graffiti wall. I feel like it started with people just randomly drawing on it and eventually people turned it into a school pride type thing and made it a thing,” says Assia. The idea of our community cultivating this wall is why it has become such a loved ritual within CHS. The graffiti wall is also an outlet for students’ emotions. “There have been a lot of cool things on it. I remember I went over there during the summer of 2020 and it had 2020 written on it in celebration of the seniors who graduated that year.” This shows how the wall affects Black Knight Nation’s emotions. Current students look forward to having the privilege of writing on the wall and it gives them a voice. Assia reflects this by saying, “The wall just is a thing CHS has done for a good while, and I’m excited to write something on there when I graduate. It’s a CHS tradition and it’s cool that we have something like that.”  

On the hunt to find the origin on the CHS graffiti wall, Mr. Early was questioned. He is a current CHS Algebra II and Precalc teacher and also attended CHS as a student, graduating in 2007. “Students, often upperclassmen, would add new graffiti over the weekends or after hours throughout the year– sometimes shoutouts to friends or sports teams.A lot of it was mostly urban graffiti style lettering — rarely anything like a mural or other purely art. Naturally, being high schoolers, occasionally a very much ‘school-inappropriate ‘symbol would find its way onto the wall.” Mr. Early revealed that while he was at CHS, the graffiti wall was mostly how it is today. In Mr. Early’s high school years, “a piece broke off the corner of the wall. I’m not sure if someone ran into the wall or what the cause was, but it was evident from the break in the wall that there was like an inch thick of paint on the concrete.” If there was an inch thick of paint fifteen years ago, there must be much more now. When asked about the origins of the graffiti wall, Mr. Early said “ The graffiti wall was already the graffiti wall at that point, and I have no idea how or when it got started.” This continues the search for its start.  

Lois Burke has been a part of our CHS family for many years. When asked about the origin of the graffiti wall, she told KTR, “The graffiti wall has been around a long time (to the point where there were HUGE chunks of it that came off when they tried to take the layers of paint off).” She did, however, share a new piece of information. “ I’m pretty sure that we didn’t paint it when I was a student here– we painted the rock as seniors.  Since I’ve been teaching though,we’ve just always had it.” This alludes to the fact that our traditions have, in fact, changed. 

Although the origin of CHS’ famous graffiti wall is still a mystery, one thing that is clear is the love and emotion that traditions such as the graffiti wall bring to our school. As a CHS student, you should take pride in your school and show that to the world by contributing to our incredible graffiti wall: everyone’s wall. Bring light to our school in any way you can.