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Parent Spotlight: Mount Vernon Community Celebrates MV at 50 with Spirit Shirt Design by Parent & Artist Elise Thomason

Aug 24, 2021 | All School, Blog, IMAMUSTANG, Lower School News

Every August when students and faculty return to campus they are gifted with a new Mount Vernon spirit shirt. Over the years the shirt has celebrated that we are Made in MV, Better Together, and Reunited. This year’s spirit shirt honors all that the School has become as we celebrate MV at 50.

The back of this year’s spirit shirt highlights a few of the best parts of Mount Vernon. It promotes the varsity football and basketball mottos, WE OVER ME and LEAVE NO DOUBT. It shows some of the School’s mindsets and guiding principles – explore, create, start with questions.

It celebrates that we are Mustangs. Our community is Made in MV.

But the best part about this year’s spirit shirt? It was designed by Mount Vernon parent and graphic design professional, Elise Thomason.

As a third-year Mount Vernon parent, whose Mount Vernon experience this far has been through the difficult times of home learning and COVID restrictions keeping parents away from campus, Elise was ready to get involved with the School in any way she could.

Last spring, Elise met with MV’s Senior Community Designer Breanna Cashman, and shared a few designs she had doodled for MV. Fast forward to the summer of 2021, when Mount Vernon’s creative team was designing potential spirit shirt options when Breanna remembered one of the designs created by Elise. Through collaboration, it was determined that the graphic embodied our tone for the year, and would be worn by all members of our community.

Elise is a native of Alabama and an Auburn University graduate. She knew from a young age that one day she would have a career in some type of art. It was actually in fifth grade that she discovered her love for graphic design after winning a t-shirt design competition for her elementary school. That win gave her confidence in her talent and her passion moving forward.

Throughout her design career, Elise has worked with Coca Cola, the state of Georgia, the Fifa World Cup, the Waldorf School of Atlanta, Sara Blakely, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, André 3000, and more.

Her favorite project? The 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. As a 25 year-old, fresh out of college creator, her designs were chosen for The Look of the Games.

As shared on her website, “It was a design system that would be applied to tens of thousands of surfaces: sports venues, banners, medals, the field of play, The Olympic Torch Relay, way-finding signage, merchandise, and much more. Central to the Look of the Games were the Sport Pictograms that I created to reflect the Italian traditions of high-fashion and sleek, modern industrial design.”

In addition, two of her posters are even housed in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

As part of the Mount Vernon community, Elise and her husband, Chuck, are parents to Grade 2 Mustang Charles. After attending Preschool at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, they were looking for a school for Charles with a creative environment. They loved that Mount Vernon has a strong focus on art design, STEM, and creative problem solving. Moreso, as brand new parents of a Kindergarten student during the 2019-2020 school year, they had great admiration for the School as teachers and administrators were able to reimagine curriculum overnight when virtual learning began in March.

Currently, Elise has created a new design project, the Elise Thomason Print Studio. Feeling like there was a large gap between generic art and expensive, gallery-level art, Elise set out to create a happy medium.

Spending a year and a half illustrating more than 500 images, she is hopeful that these new pieces will help invoke a sense of nostalgia for buyers, giving anyone a unique, personal connection and helping to tell their own life story.

Mount Vernon is grateful to all its internal MVXperts who share their time and talents with the School, bettering the overall experience of our students, faculty, and staff.

If you would like to share your own passions with the School, sign up to be an MVXpert here.