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Edison High graduate paints quite a picture

Logan Dunn, a recent graduate from Edison High School, stands by a civil rights mural that he completed at the school.
Logan Dunn, a recent graduate from Edison High School, stands by a civil rights mural that he completed at the school.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Logan Dunn roamed the hallways for a few more days after graduating from Edison High School on June 17. He had unfinished business.

The 17-year-old recently completed a civil rights-themed mural at his alma mater, in the social studies building.

Logan was encouraged to paint the project by Edison art teacher Jennie Roy-Atwood, who taught him for two years. The senior class selected the theme, but Logan did most of the rest of the work, coming up with a design and painting the entire mural himself.

He ended up highlighting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks.

“I’m pretty satisfied,” Logan said. “It came together a lot better than I thought [it would].”

He said the project took about five weeks, adding that he used gesso to apply a base coat before using acrylic paints for the rest of the project.

Logan said he has been drawing for years, but he just started painting last fall. His mural is the 10th that Roy-Atwood’s art students have produced on campus.

On Wednesday, Logan was presented with a gift card by the social studies department to give thanks. Melissa Murphy, a local artist who also went to Edison High, was a special guest.

Logan also was an Edison Golden Key Award recipient this year in the category of fine arts visual.

Logan Dunn, a recent graduate from Edison High School, painted a civil rights mural in the social studies building.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“I’ve enjoyed working with him for two years,” Roy-Atwood said. “He’s gotten so good at painting. When he first came in, he was doing more markers and drawings. He has a good sense of color and design, so he’s quite an artist. I’m excited for him.”

Logan comes from an artistic family, said his mother, Hilary Hickok. His grandfather, William Squire, worked for Warner Bros. and created set designs.

The mural was a labor of love, as Logan said he would spend five to six hours a day working on the project.

“He sketched it out first, just on a scratch piece of paper,” Hickok said. “The steps to get it to [the finished product], I’m just blown away. He would just come here and spend hours doing it. I’m just proud of the kid.”

Edison teacher Bob Strachan, who had Logan in his government class as a senior, is happy that the social studies building finally has a mural.

Strachan, who also announces Edison football games, said he was impressed with Logan’s choice of Thurgood Marshall. Not only was Marshall the first Black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, but he also argued the famous Brown v. Board of Education case that desegregated public schools.

“The fact that he would go there as one of his people he wanted to highlight, I thought that was very insightful,” Strachan said. “What he produced was even better than his mock-ups.”

Strachan added that he also liked Logan’s selection of Jackie Robinson, but for a different reason. Strachan is a big Los Angeles Dodgers baseball fan who shares season tickets with Edison teacher and tennis coach Dave Lemons.

As for Logan, he said he plans to study art next year at Orange Coast College. He has an Instagram account highlighting his artwork, but he said leaving a legacy at Edison had not really crossed his mind.

Still, Logan said he went to a couple of civil rights protests last year.

“It was something that I was passionate about,” he said. “Not that it was my thing to be passionate about, because it’s not my struggle, but I was glad that I was able to portray it and represent it.”

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