By Dan Hatcher
Our K-5th grade school is painted brown and tan, not the most appealing colors to look at every day, also not representative of the true caliber of our school. Except for a mural in the kinder play area, the school blurs from one tan building to the next. Mr. Johnson, the principal, believing that a colorful clean environment fosters a healthy learning atmosphere, proposed a contest for a new mural in the school quad area.
Students were presented with the task of creating a drawing based on the school logo, and it was 10-year-old 5th grader Luis Carrillo who won the contest with his expanded view of the logo from wagon train to a space shuttle.
When I asked Luis what inspired him to come up with his idea, he said it was his teacher, Mr. Houston, who inspired him during a history lesson. Luis said he never really liked art and thought he would submit his idea because he didn’t see that many students entering and he might have a chance to win.
Now that Luis has won the contest, he now knows to never underestimate himself. His shear will enabled him to find the courage to put his work out there for everyone to see. I’m sure this gifted student has a bright future, and this takes us to the next step in our mural story.
Well known in the school’s parent center is a sweet and modest artist, Rosaura Martinez. She has been a volunteer in the parent’s center for seven years. Rosaura studied graphic and interior design at college in Mexico. Rosaura has never painted a mural of this size but she started out like a pro, making a rendering of Luis’s drawing and then sketching out the mural on the wall. After the first two weeks I thought it was all done, but was I wrong. It took another week to fill in all of the detail, and the result is beautiful. Rosaura is already working on a second mural at the school, and it should be very cute, but I’m not going to leak any info.
At the school’s annual Spring Fling on March 27, the mural was dedicated to the entire school. Everyone loved it, and it really does convey a sense of something special at the school when you see it. Luis received a certificate for his contribution, and Mr. Johnson gave Rosaura the rendering she drew in a frame so she will always have a reminder of what she did for Plainview Academic Charter Academy.
And I would like to thank some local restaurants for their fundraising programs that helped the PTA get the money for our support of the school’s accelerated reading program: Andy Torres, Manger of IHOP, Tujunga; and Jose at Joselito’s, Tujunga.