Glenwood Community High School could already boast of being one of only a handful of high schools in Iowa with a video replay screen in its gymnasium.
Now, the two-year-old school has another unique addition in its gym to show off - a 6-foot by 10-foot oil painting of a ram, the school’s mascot. The painting was unveiled at the homecoming pep rally in September.
The painting, which hangs over an entry way in the northeast corner of the gym, was created by Mills County artist Zack Jones and funded through special events sponsored by the school’s marketing classes. Mitch Rew, marketing instructor at GCHS, said the painting not only brings a touch of class to the gym, but clearly identifies the facility as the Home of the Rams.
“The new school and gym are a showcase for the community,” Rew said. “But, if you took away the banners hanging up, you wouldn’t know it’s Glenwood. The painting helps say it’s a special place for Glenwood.”
Rew said Jones, a Malvern native, was the natural choice for doing the painting.
“Zack worked with us very well,” Rew said. “I coached against him and I know what kind of passion he has. He’s the best artist around.”
Jones, who classifies himself as a “traditional artist,” said he viewed several images of rams in their natural habitat before starting work on the two-month project. His ultimate goal was to create a Ram that exudes toughness and confidence.
“Hopefully, the kids will take some pride in it,” Jones said.
GCHS principal Kerry Newman said the painting is a “wonderful” addition to the two-year-old high school.
“I think our school is beautiful and the painting really fits in,” Newman said. “The thing I really like about the painting is that our kids are very well-rounded kids. Most of our athletes are involved in the fine arts and the painting blends the two (athletics and fine arts) together well.”
The painting was done on wood and covered with a protective sealant that will hopefully offer protection to the art should it be struck by a volleyball or basketball.
Jones said he encourages school officials to consider shining a spotlight on the painting.
“The cool fluorescent lights in the gym suck the color out of the painting,” he said.
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A time-lapsed video of the Ram painting being created is available for viewing online at