The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

October 5, 2013

A lasting tribute

Mural to honor WWII hero, academy

With dozens of strokes of her paintbrush, Danyielle Proctor transformed a blank wall in the hallway of Kenneth D. Bailey Academy into a lasting tribute to the school’s namesake.

Although drawing and painting comes naturally for the 18-year-old who joined the Walldogs — a group that travels to communities to paint murals on buildings — when she was 14, Danyielle spent countless hours researching Bailey — a Danville High School Class of 1930 graduate who was a U.S. Marine, a World War II hero and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on Guadalcanal, where he was killed.

The young artist wanted to make sure everything was just so — right down to the mahogany wood grain and scrolled parchment paper — on her grand-scale painting that features Bailey’s portrait and three of his medals displayed on a tabletop.

“I was itching to do something on someone’s wall,” she said.

Around the same time, the academy’s principal Tracy Cherry said she was talking with Danyielle’s mom, Yalanda Isaac, who is the academy’s food service director.

“We were talking about how we wanted a mural at the school, and with Danyielle being a Walldog, it just kind of worked out,” Cherry said.

The school district purchased the paint and supplies Danyielle is using to create her work of art, which Cherry said, “replicates Kenneth D. Bailey and his medals of honor.”

Danyielle said she researched Bailey and his life for more than 12 hours and studied photographs of him.

Not entirely pleased with the old photographs of Bailey she saw online, Danyielle said she “learned his facial expressions” and then created a unique likeness of Bailey for the mural using a painting technique she calls “laser-line portraiture,” in which dozens of razor-thin lines are concentrated in areas to contour the face, much like how the presidents appear on U.S. currency.

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