Spotlight on Mr. Harriton Art


An actress without her stage is just a crazy lady talking to herself on the street. Similarly, without a fun backdrop and a lot of work from behind the scenes, Mr. Harriton would not be close to the type of production it is today.

There are a lot of people to thank for this, so The Banner recently talked to three very involved students, Shakambari Ramanathan, Grace Morrisey, and Nadia Romanazzi about their experiences and jobs in this year’s Mr. Harriton.

Harriton Banner: What other clubs do you actively participate in besides student council?

Shakambari Ramanathan: Other than HSC, I am a freshman mentor, I’m in SpeakUp!, debate, academic decathlon, and I was in a few more clubs freshman and sophomore year.

Grace Morrissey: I also participate in HTC.

Nadia Romanazzi: Besides Student Council, I am an officer of World Language Club, participate in Jared’s Box, and am a writing tutor in the writing center. As hobbies outside of school, I play the cello, learn another language, and like to run.

HB: The work that goes into Mr. Harriton can be very time-consuming. Was it difficult for you to manage your school work while also helping out with this event?

SR: It’s definitely hard to deal with so much classwork and extracurriculars and the art, but time management and prioritization it what it all comes down to (also painting is like very relaxing and it’s a nice break from school).

GM: I’m a senior, so I don’t really do homework.

NR: At times, it was hard to prioritize the different activities I do, and had to manage my time wisely. I had to make some sacrifices like missing a day of Mr. Harriton art or going to bed later than I would have liked to, but in the end, any of the sacrifices I made are worth it, because Mr. Harriton is such a rewarding event going to great causes.

HB: Do you do a lot of drawing and art practice outside of school or in any particular classes/clubs?

SR: I’ve always loved drawing and art as a whole, from doodling in the margins of my notes to actually constructing pieces over many weeks. I took an art elective with Ms. Jackson (best teacher ever) freshman year and it was so nice to focus on creating rather than academics.

GM: Not really, I’ve just been in communications for the past four years so I have gotten used to creating the posters. The art for Mr.Harriton isn’t like regular art. You don’t have to be very skilled; you just have to be good at coloring in the lines.

NR: I have always been interested in art. When I was very young, I took some art classes, and in my freshman year I took ceramics, which I wish I could have continued. Looking back, I would have never pictured myself doing art that would be on display for so many people to see. I do not consider myself to be “good at art,” but I do enjoy making posters for all of the different council events and helping draw and paint the art for Mr. Harriton.

HB: What made you want to get involved with Mr. Harriton?

SR: Mr. Harriton is such a huge part of HSC, it’s for an amazing cause, and it’s just a lot of fun to do.

GM: I’ve helped out with Mr. Harriton every year I’ve been at this school. My freshmen year the art was so fun, so I just kept coming back every year since.

NR: I joined student council before really knowing about Mr. Harriton, but once I learned more about it, I wanted to be more involved, because it is not only fun to plan and make the art but it also donates to charities.

HB: What has been your favorite moment of Mr. Harritons in the past?

SR: When Will Hoffman walks in four inch heels better than I can!

GM: Every year when the janitors hang up the art, I love to go and see it before the night of the show.

NR: Besides working on the art and getting to know new people, my favorite moment was in my freshman year when Nate Rush did his talent. It was so unexpected and unique.

HB: How long did it take you to develop the artwork for this year’s Mr. Harriton?

SR, NR and GM: About two months – we split the projects up into segments and worked on a bit each day.

HB: How do you come up with ideas for each Mr. Harriton painting? Do you collaborate with each other or sketch on your own?

SR: The ideas are usually put together by the co-chairs and they’re always based on the main components of whatever the theme is. The actual designs are decided after considering things like copyright and technicalities and all.

GM: We all work together! What happens is we google inspiration and then work with the contestants to figure out the perfect design.

NR: I have to give a lot of credit to Grace for putting together a lot of the designs. After the designs are created, we project them onto a screen and trace them on to the poster board we use for them. Once we start painting, we collaborate with each other and talk about which colors and shades we think look best on the art.

HB: Last but not least, which Mr. Harriton contestant would make the best Disney princess and why?

SR: Hard to say honestly – they’d all be great princesses

GM: Chang for sure! He’s unbelievably magical when he dances on stage.