Marissa Migneco is a star on the rise. The Etowah High School senior recently led a community mural project and is a two-time Cherokee Student Film Festival award recipient. Marissa has established her name in the Cherokee County art community at an early age, and her talents have added color to our community as a whole.

Marissa says she’s been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil, and when she experimented with animation in middle school, her talent and artistic style flourished. She has since established a strong physical and digital sketchbook. Marissa notes that she does most of her artwork independently and with various media. Her style focuses on colors and rendering, opposing shapes, and a combination of smooth and harsh line work.

Creativity with a Cause

Using her talents from film to painting, Marissa has found ways to involve herself and give back to the community. As a member of the Etowah High School Art Club, she helped paint Little Free Libraries around Cherokee County. Additionally Marissa has participated in the Audio/Visual Pathway at her school, which afforded her the opportunity to participate in the Cherokee Student Film Festival. In 2022 she participated in the Best Use of Prop winning team and in 2023 led a team that placed third in Best in Show. In the fall of 2023 Marissa headed a large mural project for Goshen Valley Boys Ranch.

Etowah High School art teacher Joshua Saye comments, “The quality I admire most about Marissa is her bravery. As a teacher it is refreshing to have a student that doesn’t second-guess herself and doesn’t fear failure. Marissa holds on to that child-like curiosity that allowed us all to create masterpieces for the refrigerator door without being concerned with judgment.”

Photo Courtesy of Marissa Migneco

Marissa Migneco, Etowah High School Class of 2024

Peace, Purpose, and Paintbrushes

In her most recent project, Marissa led a team of nine other students from across Cherokee County to paint a mural for Goshen Valley Boys Ranch. Featuring a brightly colored watering can pouring water over a variety of plants, the mural took around a month to complete.


Marissa attributes the quick progress to the motivation and skill of her team. “After I saw how much progress we made on the first day of painting at Goshen Valley and the sheer size of the project, it hit me how amazing the project really was and how blessed I was to have this opportunity,” Marissa remarks. “I was able to connect with some of the fellow student artists from my school, and all the adults were involved and motivated with the project as well.”

The mural committee includes students Jenna Cuomo and Ella Nichols of Cherokee High School; Sydney Allen, Madison Fowler, Reagan Kadlub, Loveah Martinez, and Megan Torres of Etowah High School; Avery King of i-Grad Virtual Academy; and Mishkat Abdullahi of Sequoyah High School. The project was monitored by Cherokee High School art teacher Morgan Clifton and Cherokee County School District Administrator on Special Assignment for Humanities & Fine Arts Jennifer Jones.

Goshen Valley selected Marissa’s artwork for the mural in a competition against fifteen other student concepts. After the completion of the large mural, Marissa and her team decided to paint a second mural on a smaller fence nearby. The second mural includes the same vibrant colors and stark contrast as the original and features Goshen Valley’s slogan “Peace and Purpose” in letters splashing out of a garden hose.

Marissa says, “Ultimately my dream project would be to do something like the Goshen Valley mural project all over again. I would love to find a place that gives back to the community and use my artistic abilities to contribute to another good cause.” The mural painted outside the Family Resource Center at Goshen Valley has a plaque that acknowledges Marissa and the other students and teachers involved in completing the mural.

While Marissa doesn’t yet have any formal plans for art after graduation, she intends to keep pursuing her passion and building her digital and physical portfolio. Her art teacher adds, “In the future I hope Marissa applies her bravery and curiosity to whatever direction in life she chooses. I hope she has adventures. I hope she is happy.”



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