The Pilot paintings are back on the walls of the Bill Fox Gymnasium.
After a brief period without them, De La Salle Collegiate Principal Brother Ken Kalinowski, FSC, '84, commissioned John Hicks, the school's visual arts instructor, to create the images along the baselines of the gym.
"Brother Ken had asked if the Pilot head could make a return to the gym, and inquired about a timeline," Hicks said. "I then did a few mockups using Photoshop, so the administration could see what it would look like."
Soon after, Hicks discovered he had a prep hour when the gymnasium was not in use.
He began the process of repainting in February, first drawing the Pilot head on both sides of the gym, using an overhead projector. He then filled in the heads with paint. The whole process took Hicks about eight hours.
"We decided to use a mid-grey color for the paintings, thinking that something a little subtle would work best against the already prominent, high-contrast violet and gold found in the gym," Hicks said.
After completing the Pilot heads, Br. Ken and Hicks also decided to add Lasallian crosses to the walls of each baseline, as the result of a suggestion made by DLS head basketball coach Gjon Djokaj.
The Lasallian crosses took Hicks approximately three hours to complete.
Br. Ken is elated to have the Pilot paintings back in the gym.
"Mr. Hicks' paintings are truly a mission of love for the school,” Br. Ken said. “It's inspiring to have the Pilot back in our gym. Since the school was founded in 1926, to have a drawing of an actual pilot -- from that day and time -- connects well with the history of the school."
Additionally, Br. Ken was impressed with Djokaj, as a first-year coach at DLS, asking for the Lasallian crosses to be placed in the gym.
"It’s inspiring for a first-year coach to fully embrace the Lasallian spirit and to make that suggestion. For me, that shows class and commitment to our DLS mission," Br. Ken said.
The return of the Pilot heads coincides with the unveiling of the school's Pilot mascot.