Ian Ramsay's first paid art gig will leave a lasting legacy at Ventura's Buena High School.
"Buena Renaissance" is displayed on a hallway wall in the administration building, above a new bulletin board that will feature the academic accomplishments of the school's 2,100 students, as well as their teachers.
Ramsay, a 17-year-old junior, earned $300 painting the 6-by-4-foot mural, which depicts Buena's mascot, a bulldog, standing guard over the school.
"There's so much focus on sports and also on the negative," said Buena English teacher Amanda Fort, advisor to the school's student recognition program.
"There's a lot of time spent on the negative, and we're just seeing a lot of positive," Fort said. "This is trying to change students' attitudes about how it's a good thing to do well. It's not something to hide."
Ramsay is enrolled in advanced-placement art classes and hopes to attend art school on the East Coast after graduation. He takes courses at Ventura College in lithography and ceramics and is the art editor of the high school yearbook this year.