Tribute to Parkland High School

parkland-school-art-atkins-designIn times of great tragedy and grief, we often turn to poetry to assure us that we are not alone, that others are feeling the same sadness and grief. Graphic design, like poetry, uses symbols to help heal, to express the unfathomable grief that the Parkland High School community is experiencing in the wake of the horrific mass shooting. The poster features an eagle (the school’s mascot) soaring toward the heavens, surrounded by 17 stars representing the innocent lives that were taken. The imagery is reminiscent of John Magee’s beautiful poem, High Flight:

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Below the soaring eagle is the school campus highlighted by the warm glow of the sun at daybreak, ushering in a new day — filled with hope and with passionate, determined voices that seek justice and action from complacent and indifferent politicians and lawmakers. The stars in the heaven represents the glimmer of hope that exists for a future without hatred and violence.

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