Building a Better World // December 2022

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Conway Elementary // Escondido

Mural Artist: Isabel Halpern

Building a Better World // December 2022
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This mural was led by Isabel Halpern and created with Conway Elementary students from the after-school YMCA Expanded Learning Program, LEGENDS. Not only did the participating students help paint the mural, but they helped come up with the imagery shown through the actions of the different figures. From left to right one can see different characteristics of EPIC (Excellence, Perseverance, Integrity, and Compassion) in action: planting seeds in the school garden, advocating for social issues in the community, following dreams through creativity, and helping each other up with care. A paper airplane, a direct student drawing, flies high in the sky and adds a playful element representing the journey of going after our aspirations. A big sun represents joy and hope and different natural elements can be seen throughout: sprouts growing into plants, water drops of rain, stars in the sky, rivers, hills, and butterflies. All of the figures show different examples of what it takes to build a better world- contributing to themselves, their community, and to each other with compassion and connection. 

Which figure do you relate to most in this mural?

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Morning Has Broken // November 2022

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St. Katharine Drexel Academy // College Area

Mural Artist: Nina Lubarsky

Morning Has Broken // November 2022
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This mural was collaboratively painted and inspired by the St. Katharine Drexel Academy 8th grade class of 2023. Led and designed by artist Nina Lubarsky, this piece serves to welcome all to a peaceful and uplifting place of growth. A crucial step in the mural process was gathering words, ideas, themes, and actual drawings from the participating students and SKDA staff to help inspire the design imagery. Students drew various plants, trees, suns, and of course, their school mascot of the powerful phoenix.

A skilled and practicing printmaker, Nina Lubarsky rendered this design in the style of a carved relief print, echoing the ancient art of block printing. A mighty phoenix, symbolizing rebirth and transformation, is bursting with pride. Its wings stretched wide, it is set against a big sun- a perfect full circle that signifies family and unity. The rest of the mural is filled with native plants: the resilient and healing aloe vera and California coastal oak tree. Poppies are blooming, bees are buzzing, and sage grows energetically towards the sun. Located in the center of campus and facing the neighborhood community, it serves as a daily reminder to students of their own continued expansion and inner strength.

This mural was funded by Russo Properties, Ltd., College Area Community Council, and District 9 Arts, Culture & Community Festivals.

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Ourselves, Each Other, Community // September 2022

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Lemon Grove Academy Elementary // Lemon Grove

Mural Artist: Katy Yeaw

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We take care of ourselves. We take care of each other. We take care of our community. This is the school-wide motto of Lemon Grove Academy Elementary. This mural was painted by over 75 students from the 6th grade classes of 2023. Led and designed by Katy Yeaw, this piece serves to welcome all to a colorful, uplifting, and compassionate campus. The participating students played a direct role in helping design this mural by giving their words, drawings, and ideas. They also contributed their care and focus by helping to physically paint much of the mural walls.

Throughout the mural imagery, we can see an abundance of self and community care. Watering the garden. Reading in solitude. The importance of family. Older students helping younger students as shown with the two tigers (big buddy and little buddy) walking together in unison. Birds in flight showing that everyone has the potential to soar. The abundance of plants and foliage symbolizes growth and transformation while subtle lemon tree imagery marks community pride in the City of Lemon Grove. In full, this mural is a daily reminder of the crucial practice of care and kindness. That students flourish here when surrounded by mutual, self, and community care.

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The Jazz Lounge Storefront Mural Project // August 2022

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Mural Artist Apprenticeship Program // College Area

Mural Artist: Chloe Moya

The Jazz Lounge Storefront Mural Project // August 2022
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This storefront mural project is located on El Cajon Blvd in the College Area Business District. The mural was fully designed and led by Chloe Moya as part of the Mural Artist Apprenticeship Program. Chloe designed this mural with imagery inspiration from our client focusing on mid-century feels and geometric and organic patterns flowing smoothly along the trim. In partnership with the College Area Business District, ArtReach is thrilled to have added this energetic transformation to this neat little block which includes Little Fish Comic Book Studio and The Jazz Lounge. After assisting on 10+ projects, we want to congratulate Chloe for designing and leading her first project with ArtReach!

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Welcome to Rohr! // August 2022

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Fred H. Rohr Elementary // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Liesel Plambeck

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Welcome to Fred H. Rohr Elementary! A school of transformation, growth, kindness, and collaboration. Led by Liesel Plambeck, this mural serves to welcome all to a special space.

Over fifty 5th and 6th grade students from the classes of 2022 contributed their time, care, and focus on painting this mural. Not only did the participating students paint much of the wall, but they also helped inspire the design through pre-painting mural workshops by sharing their words, ideas, and drawings for what they could see for the front of their school. The result is this stunning and colorful legacy mural stretching across the whole front of the campus. 

This mural features lion pride with the larger than life school mascot of the Rohr Lion looking out to the horizon, but there is a lot more to be found in this work. The importance of our natural world can be seen with different flowers and a sea of jungle palms. All of these plants represent growth and the flowers serve to bring an uplifting and joyful feeling right as you enter the school. The big stars floating in the sky symbolize youth and collective goals and dreams. The word “Welcome” can be seen from far away and it is there of course, right at the front office, to welcome all to the Rohr Family. In all, this mural is a big reminder of what can be achieved when many people collaborate together with kindness and dedication. 

This project was made possible in part by the City of Chula Vista and the Create Chula Vista Arts Grant.

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YMCA Lincoln Apartments // July 2022

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YOUTH & FAMILY SERVICES ESCONDIDO HOUSING PROGRAM

Mural Artists: Donald Gould + Regan Russell

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Resilient and larger-than-life desert plants of agave, aloe, prickly pear, and aeoniums grow tall from the earth. A topographical map pattern makes up the background. Calming yet bright colors throughout the design tie directly to the colors on each individual door in this apartment complex.

These murals were led and designed by artists Donald Gould and Regan Russell. While collecting design input from youth residents who live here, many residents answered with a variety of responses using their own art and words. Among their answers were drawings of plants, expressions of calm, of being on a journey, of meditation. One theme in particular kept emerging and that was the theme of resilience: “I was thinking of putting in a desert landscape- to show that even though the desert sometimes feels like there is nothing there, we go on living and go on surviving.” What we see is just that. Powerful desert plants grow strong together and the topography lines subtly allude to the many layers, paths, and future destinations of our collective and individual journeys.

Not only did youth residents help contribute with the mural design imagery, but they also physically painted the lower portions of the main wall during a Community Paint Day hosted by ArtReach. Through collective care and contribution, residents have this daily reminder of their own resilience while tending to, nurturing, growing, and planting their current and future dreams.

The ArtReach Mural Program and Mural Artists are honored to have helped contribute to the transformation of such an important home for current and future residents.

This mural was fully funded by the Lawrence A. Appley Foundation.

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Making Friends // June 2022

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MUSEUM SCHOOL // BANKERS HILL

Mural Artists: Isabel Halpern + Chloe Moya

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Welcome to St. Paul’s Park! This mural was painted by The Museum School 1st grade class of 2022. Led by artists Chloe Moya and Isabel Halpern, this piece serves to welcome all to a colorful, bright, and joyful playground. The 1st grade students played a direct role in helping design this mural by sharing their words, drawings, and ideas. Not only did they help inspire the design, but they also helped paint the entire wall! The themes present in this design touch on sharing, collaboration, creativity, kindness, growth, and togetherness. Different hands can be seen across the wall- all engaged in various activities that further enhance these themes: growing a flower, holding hands in trust, making friends with a bird, and creating a drawing on paper. Every flower on this wall is the exact drawing from a 1st grade student and large, joyful, and colorful shapes make up the background.

As a legacy gift to their whole school community, the 1st grade artists painted this mural with excitement, care, and compassion. It serves as a big representation of a true neighborhood collaboration. St. Paul’s Senior Services offered the wall, The Museum School students helped paint it, and ArtReach brought it all together with design and project leadership. It reminds us of the importance of friendship and collaboration- that beautiful friendships grow out of helping and listening to each other.

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Dream Big // June 2022

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ROWAN ELEMENTARY // AZALEA PARK

Mural Artist: Hanna Gundrum

Dream Big :: June 2022
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This mural was painted by the Rowan  Elementary 5th grade class of 2022. Led by artist Hanna Gundrum, this piece serves to welcome all to a colorful and joyful campus. The 5th grade students played a direct role in helping design this mural by giving their words, drawings, and ideas. Some of the many images that students created were suns, roses, flowers, and the mascot of the roadrunner. As a legacy gift to their whole school community, the 5th grade artists painted this mural with care and compassion. It serves as a big representation of running fast after dreams. It reminds us of the importance of friendship and collaboration- that beautiful things grow out of listening to each other.

This mural was funded in part by Dahlin Group Architecture and the TahDah Foundation.

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Above and Below the Ocean // May 2022

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TOLER ELEMENTARY // CLAIREMONT

Mural Artist: Isabel Halpern

Above and Below the Ocean // May 2022
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This mural was painted by the Toler Elementary 5th grade class of 2022. Led by artist Isabel Halpern, this piece serves to welcome all to a colorful and joyful campus. The 5th grade students played a direct role in the design of this mural. During their mural design workshops, students created many of the images you see here using scissors, paper, and glue. Inspired by the paper cutouts of artist Henri Matisse, students used their imaginations to create all things under and above the ocean. Some of the many images that students made were an anglerfish exploring down below, jellyfish with long wiggly legs, a big tiger shark following a school of fish, a sailboat with the sweetest of sails, large collaged suns, and birds in flight. As a legacy gift to their whole school community, the 5th grade artists painted this mural with care and compassion. It serves as a big reminder and representation of all of the living beings that come from the sea. It reminds us of the importance of taking care of our environment and the big blue ocean which is mere blocks away from Toler Elementary.

This mural was funded by the Toler Elementary PTA.

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Seeds to Stars // April 2022

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SYCAMORE CANYON ELEMENTARY // SANTEE

Mural Artist: Lux Meteora

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The Sycamore Canyon Mural Club of 2022 painted this mural designed by multi-disciplinary artist Lux Meteora. This piece serves to welcome all to a colorful and transformative campus. The participating student artists played a direct role in the design of this mural. As a group, they decided collaboratively on different themes and images to help represent Sycamore Canyon. Various metamorphoses are seen throughout this mural: A caterpillar to a butterfly. A cub to a cougar. An egg to a chicken. A sycamore seed to a full-grown tree. These transformations reminds us that change is constant and that school is a place for growth. Hills, creeks, and lakes of the Santee landscape make up the soothing background. Morning turns to day and day turns to night. The big night sky reminds us all to look up and see what we can find up there: comets, planets, constellations, and an anchor to honor the military families of Sycamore Canyon School. It reminds us that any dream we can imagine, we can achieve.

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Dream, Discover, Read // April 2022

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FLETCHER ELEMENTARY // LINDA VISTA

Mural Artist: Nazanin Amiri Meers

Dream, Discover, Read // April 2022
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Books bring us to new worlds that we can only travel to through reading. The Fletcher Elementary 5th grade class of 2022 helped paint and design this mural. As a legacy gift to their whole school community, this wall is full of soothing colors and exciting adventures. Led by artist Nazanin Amiri Meers, this mural focuses on the importance and joy of reading. It shows that books can directly open the doors to learning, discovery, and imagination. The Fletcher Falcon rests peacefully in the center of the mural, observing the dreamlike scene. And what are the figures doing? Sailing on the sea, flying through the air on a pencil, reading in the grass, and reaching for the moon. It reminds us that we can achieve our dreams through education, hard work, and actively looking out toward the surrounding world. 

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6th Grade Legacy Mural // March 2022

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SAN ALTOS ELEMENTARY // LEMON GROVE

Mural Artist: Hanna Gundrum

6th Grade Legacy Mural // March 2022
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The 6th grade class of 2022 at San Altos Elementary helped paint and design this 4-wall mural. As a legacy gift to the whole school community, these four walls celebrate growth, exploration, and transformation. Led by artist Hanna Gundrum, the mural spans the four main buildings in the center of campus, adding a joyful and colorful backdrop to student activities. The hummingbird and Yin-Yang motif were taken directly from student design input and also serve as a reminder of the importance of peaceful balance. In honor of San Altos’ tradition of the yearly release and study of monarch butterflies, the butterfly on Wall 2 symbolizes constant growth and transformation. The school mascot, a coyote, can be seen exploring the desert landscape in Wall 1. Surrounded by stars and the moon, this mural art reminds all students to keep exploring and to keep going after their dreams. 

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Grow // February 2022

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Monterey Heights Elementary // Lemon Grove

Mural Artist: Milan Finnie

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Monterey Heights 6th grade class of 2022 contributed their designs, skills, and creativity as a legacy gift to their whole school community. Led by artist Milan Finnie, this piece celebrates growth and transformation. The mural features plants native to Lemon Grove – many taken right from this very campus of Monterey Heights: Crown Daisy, Indian Blanket, Musky Stork’s Bill, and the Small Philippine Acacia. The artful plants help connect us to the surrounding environment while also emphasizing the importance of taking care of our earth and the natural world.

This mural also incorporates key elements of Monterey Heights STEAM subjects – all drawings by 6th grade student artists: a cassette tape, a beaker, and even Tetris pieces. Gears clicking, experiments bubbling, a paintbrush ready for canvas, and a song waiting to be heard. The bright sun focal point brings joy and hope to all who see it while the Tetris pieces are on a journey of finding their way and falling into place.

What plants and flowers from the mural can you find on your school campus?

This mural was funded in part by the TahDah Foundation.

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John J. Montgomery Welcome Mural // January 2022

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John J. Elementary // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Liesel Plambeck

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Welcome to John J. Montgomery Elementary in Chula Vista. This pop of color on the wall is the first thing you see as you walk into school. Designed by Liesel Plambeck, this welcome mural was painted by the entire 6th grade class. 

The students also helped inspire the mural imagery through pre-painting mural workshops. Repeating themes of ocean, sun, waves, and palm trees were seen in the student drawing ideas. Many students also drew their school mascot of the eagle as you can see flying across the sun. With Montgomery being an arts-focused school, this is represented with the paintbrush imagery.

The 6th grade students did such an amazing job on their legacy project. What a beautiful gift to give before going to middle school.

This mural was funded in part by Turnaround Arts: CA.

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The Brightest View // January 2022

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Pacific View Leadership Elementary // Paradise Hills

Mural Artist: Hanna Gundrum

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This mural was started in March of 2020. It was put on hold due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and was finally completed two years later. All of the imagery in this mural, designed by Hanna Gundrum, was inspired by student words and drawings. This bright and uplifting mural is a symbol of perseverance and resilience. A beacon of hope and optimism. After two difficult years, ArtReach and Pacific View Leadership Elementary were able to come together at last. In person and in collaboration, this was a huge community effort to bring this project to life. Over 40 students from the Pacific View 5th grade class of 2022 helped paint this mural. They worked with focus and care and painted almost the entire bottom half. The imagery touches on themes of nature, acceptance, welcomeness, communication, music, reading, and going after our dreams. 

Looking at the mural, what do you see? What images bring you hope and happiness?

This mural was funded in part by the TahDah Foundation.

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