‘Hot art’ on display in painted parking spaces at Keller High, other North Texas schools

·3 min read

As temperatures hovered above 100 degrees in recent days, Shannon King and her family spent more than 30 hours in the parking lot of Keller High School.

Why?

Her daughter, Makinley King, got the chance to paint her parking spot as a senior student at the school.

“The easiest part of it was taping the area,” Shannon King said on Friday. “The hardest part was the heat. It was 100 degrees every day out there.”

Makinley King agreed. “It was so hot,” she said.

Keller High School senior Makinley King shows off her high school parking space design just days before school starts. School in the Keller district starts Wednesday Aug. 17, 2022.
Keller High School senior Makinley King shows off her high school parking space design just days before school starts. School in the Keller district starts Wednesday Aug. 17, 2022.

It’s a tradition in Texas that has gone on for years at many high schools, and baking temperatures won’t stop parents and senior high school students from taking part.

Throughout the state, seniors often pay $50 or more to paint parking spaces at their high schools, with the money typically going toward a fundraiser or charity.

There have been some problems at times.

Last year, the mother of a senior at Timber Creek High School in the Keller school district complained to officials after racist images were discovered in two high school parking spaces. Erica Olivo told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that her daughter, who was a senior at Timber Creek, showed her Snapchat images of a white square with the words “is right” and a cartoon caricature of a Native American.

The images were in parking spaces at Timber Creek and Keller High School, where the campus mascot is the Keller High School Indians.

In an emailed statement to the Star-Telegram, the school district said, “Both issues have been addressed and those spots have been painted over. Campus administration reserves the right to disallow offensive verbiage or imagery in accordance with our Student Code of Conduct.”

But painting of the parking spaces appears to be going fine this year in North Texas.

At Keller High School, the cost was $125 and students have been busy developing their artwork in the parking lot for the past two weeks.

School in the Keller school district starts Wednesday.

Keller High School senior Alexander Hernandez picked “Never Broke Again” for his design on his parking space.
Keller High School senior Alexander Hernandez picked “Never Broke Again” for his design on his parking space.

At Keller High School, there are more than 700 seniors this year, and 470 of them got chance to create the artful parking spaces.

Ashley Hernandez finished her first parking space event for her senior son, Alexander Hernandez.

The Hernandez family had just moved to Texas from Connecticut, and they had never heard of painting parking spaces.

Ashley Hernandez said her son picked the design, going with the album cover “Never Broke Again,” by rapper YoungBoy.

His mother pointed out that the easy part of the artwork was the painting.

“I ended up having to make the stencil lettering because I couldn’t find ones that fit,” she said.

Avon Bandasack, of Keller, also was a first-timer at parking space art. Her daughter, Mattaly, will graduate this year from Keller High School.

“It wasn’t all painting,” Bandasack said during a Friday interview. “There was some socializing, and it was all fun.”

Bandasack did explain that design was the hardest part of the back-to-school project for her as her daughter went with the words, “Let All That You Do Be Done With Love,” in pink and white colors.

Temperatures will remain hot for the next several days, but it hasn’t slowed down parents or students with their creations.

“I had no other ideas for my space,” said Keller High School senior Alexander Hernandez. He has the YoungBoy rapper parking spot. “Would I do it again next year — if I had to, I would.”

That’s not the answer Makinley King would give.

“No, I wouldn’t,” the Keller High School senior said. “I like it now because my name is big and it’s in the middle.”