By Diana L. Chapman
Using scores of students and dozens of volunteers to painstakingly piece together a snaking 100 feet long mosaic wall, a masterpiece – at least in my book especially because its all about children’s books – will be officially unveiled Friday – ending a project that nearly two years long in the making.
With 12 children’s books depicted in the mosaic mural – pieces done through a combination of children’s work and parent volunteers – stories like Dr. Seuss' Cat and the Hat, Charlotte’s Web and Harry Potter seem to come to life along the curving wall doused in a myriad of colors, from whites to rosy pinks and blues.
The ceremony will be held Friday at 1:15 and is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. And all the photographs in the world can’t speak for seeing this artistic work: it’s a-must- see-in-person creation.
Megan McElroy, who spent most of her time the past two years working on the wall for generations of school children to come, said the school is happy to complete the giant venture that was done through a $10,000 Neighborhood grant from the city of Los Angeles. Another grant helped pay for beautifully wispy landscape – that accents the beds of the mosaic wall – which includes plants such as Australian willows and the flowering plants alstromeria, salvia, penstemmon and mustard colored yarrow.
Landscape architect Rick Dykzeul, designed the garden and in particular picked that vegetation to attract butterflies and hummingbirds and “we have many,” Megan said.
Artist Melinda Moore created the wall, but the project could not have been completed without parents like Megan and the hundreds of students who participated as well.
“I love creating ceramic pieces with the kids,” Megan said. “It is a
magical process for them because you are transforming
such a raw substance into a beautiful object. But my
favorite part of doing a mural of any kind at a school
is that the kids live with the creative process every
day. They understand that art can be done by anyone,
and they take such pride in our school's accomplishment.”
What makes me so happy, however, is when such projects are completed, it tends to bring the community back to the campus and spark a dying interest in our schools. The beautification is just one piece of this puzzle as it takes over the typical drab ugly colors that douse the creative spirit at most schools.
A mosaic mural like this not only makes the kids want to come to school – it makes the teachers want to come. They frequently sit and have their lunches next to the mosaic mural. And for the kids, every day it gives them something to talk about since the mural is positioned strategically right across from the library – like reading.
For more information, call the school at: (310) 832-1538. The campus is located at 1570 W. 7th Street, San Pedro.