By Ben Otte
It was always a thought or idea to see Red Lion's very own Lion mascot painted on
the walls of the Ronald E. Abe Fitzkee Athletic Center to look over the hardwood floor
inside. Many schools can say they have paintings promoting pride within their school's
gymnasiums and now Red Lion joins that list of buildings.
The newly painted 'King of the Jungle' mural on the east side of the gym stands at a height
of 17 feet and is spread a width of 28 feet.
Mary Patterson, a local quality interior painter, who has been commended for her
work by district officials, was chosen to paint the idea to life. Entrepreneur of her own
business, "Painted By Patterson", Patterson mainly focuses her talents on decorative
artwork in clients’ homes and offices. However, she has done bulk projects similar to this
one before. One of these can be found inside Red Lion's own Pleasant View Elementary
School's multi-purpose room. Another piece of Patterson’s artwork can be found at the
York location of York Eye Associates.
But who initially drew the blueprints of the project? It was Red Lion Class of 2012 alumnus,
Casey Dimoff. Having done artwork for the district before, Dimoff was viewed by the
district officials as the perfect choice.
However, it wasn’t a total breeze for the resident artist.
"It was tough at first to get everyone to agree with what the painting would look like. It
took months," he remarks. "Many people wanted different things, and for me, it was hard to
get all the ideas to satisfy everyone in one piece."
Patterson, unlike Dimoff, isn't a part of the Red Lion alumni community, but she does speak
of how proud she is to be a part of the work of somebody who is. "It's special for Casey."
she says. "The painting speaks to underclassmen interested in art who strive to see their
work in a public setting."
Dimoff is still trying to grab ahold of the new reality. "I never thought I'd ever have a
drawing on that wall. It's neat to see something I designed be in a place where I have, and
continue to, spend a lot of my time. I've been around the district my entire life."
After approximately 44 total work hours the painting reached competition. The 20 bottles
of paint and countless instances of hand cramps were absolutely worth it.
"It definitely leaves an impression on visitors who enter the gym," says Patterson. "It makes
Red Lion Athletics look 'tough'."
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