October Arts Month of Murals: Shedding Light on the Importance of Education

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Murals are all tributes in a way, representing a slice of culture important to a business, a community, an entire city and so much more. So, in the spirit of Arts Month, we at the Post have partnered with the Arts Council for Long Beach to bring you our October Arts Month of Murals.

Using the Arts Council’s working database of the wide array of murals located throughout the city, once a week during the month of October we’ll bring to your attention five murals that you may have never heard of or had a chance to visit yet, grouped under one cohesive theme and plotted on a comprehensive map. So, whether you choose to visit each one or just read about them, you can find out where they are, who they were painted by and when they were completed. 

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S P O N S O R

Read below to learn about five education-related murals in Long Beach and thank you for reading our October Arts Months of Murals series.

Education 

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Images courtesy of the Arts Council for Long Beach.

Education by Georgia-born artist Elliott Pinkney was completed in 1990 with the help of assistant George LeChevallier and a group of woodshop students from Hughes Middle School.

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Located at the Educational Partnership High School, the mural depicts the “wonders of education,” according to the Arts Council, and shows flags of different countries, silhouetted images of children and proud fists holding diplomas thrust upward. A dove hovers over the composition, signifying world peace.

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The vibrant mural by local artist Elliot Pinkney illustrates the wonders of education. The powerful message that education is universal is clearly depicted by the many flags of different countries and the different colored silhouetted images of children. Illustrated are fists rising in the air holding diplomas and a peaceful dove hovering over the composition, suggesting world peace.

Pinkney’s myriad murals throughout Los Angeles, especially Compton, depicting people enacting social change, were influenced by Mexican muralists in how they illustrate social statements, the artist told the Los Angeles Times for an article published in 1989.

Armonia

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Image courtesy of the Arts Council for Long Beach. 

Created by Bolivian-born, local artist Ramon Rodriguez and Patrick Henry Elementary School’s graduating class of 2015, Armonia, which translates to “Harmony” from Spanish, shows Earth as a home with a front door entrance and a roof, according to the Arts Council. 

Completed in June 2015, the “entrance” to the planet leads to a staircase made of books and a community gathering atop the largest book. Earth stands a symbol of “humanity’s home” while the books are symbolic of knowledge, according to the Arts Council.

Video of Presentación del mural Armonía.

“The beauty of Ramon's paintings is the bridge that draws or invites people to begin contemplation and exploration,” said Ramon’s wife Debbie, in a 2010 interview with the Post.


 

Expand Your Mind With Science

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Images courtesy of the Arts Council for Long Beach.

The late pioneer scientist Albert Einstein is depicted in Expand Your Mind With Science by artist Richard Brandt and youth assistants Abel Beltran, Danny Corona, Fernando Medrano, Mario Medrano and David Quinones, with help from students of Washington Middle School science classes, according to the Arts Council.

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Completed in 1994 and located on Washington Middle School’s playground exterior, art and science merge as Brandt’s design illustrates topics students learn in class, such as biology, geology and astronomy and also illustrates students studying.

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Learning

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Screenshot taken from Google Street View. 

Ann Phong’s Learning was completed in 1993 at Eddie’s Liquor with the help of youth assistants Nebra Flewellen, Renita Harper and Kelvin Murray, according to the Arts Council, with special appreciation to Chang Youm of United Realty, Grace and Myeong Hong of Eddie's Liquor and the Northwest Long Beach Neighborhood Chapter.

Phong was born in Saigon, fled to Vietnam in 1981 and spent a year living in Malaysia and the Philippines in refugee camps before she traveled to Southern California, according to the Los Angeles Mural Conservancy. She teaches at California State University, Fullerton and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Dunitz, who took the below up-close photo, interprets the mural as “the people in the northeast Long Beach community are represented by a variety of hands of different colors” for the Guide to 1000 Los Angeles Murals.

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Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Mural Conservancy, taken by Robin Dunitz.

The Family, Education, in Harmony, Welcome

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Image taken from Google Street View. 

Paul Botello and youth assistants Alex Castro and Meshel Naraez completed this mural painted on the California Aquatic Therapy and Wellness Center in 1989. Located on the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and 68th Street, the piece depicts an aquatic education in action.

Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Botello has completed myriad murals in the area, including one at the Boyle Heights Metro Station (now closed), and has also traveled to Berlin, Germany to collaborate on a giant mural, according to Metro. Botello also painted five murals at Pitzer College, one of which you can view here.



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