Plaza del Sol // January 2024

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Plaza del Sol Affordable Housing // City Heights

Mural Artist: Josué Baltézar

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These 6 panels of murals, designed exquisitely by Josué Baltézar, are located on the outside of City Heights Plaza del Sol, a new affordable housing complex in City Heights, which provides affordable housing for 75 local families. In partnership with Wakeland Housing and Development and Price Philanthropies, ArtReach collected community input from local organizations and individuals to help inspire the mural design. The result is the stunning culmination that brings celebration to the diversity of City Heights while paying homage to the native land on which we stand. Over 100 community members also helped contribute to the painting of these murals during an ArtReach-led,  publicly activated Community Paint Day, inspiring people of all ages who came together in collective collaboration. 

Let’s dive deeper into the symbolism behind each mural panel which adorns the corner of University and Fairmount starting from left to right:

1) King Protea, the national flower of Somalia with mirroring, Haan (jugs used to carry milk, butter). This panel serves to represent resilience, growth, and adaptability of immigrant populations while honoring the Somalian population in City Heights.

2) Calla Lilies, the national flower of Ethiopia surround the endangered ibex looking out with strength and protection for our shared community. This panel shows the importance of the community looking out for each other. 

3) This celebratory panel of papel picado includes imagery of the marigold, corn staple crops, positive sun, prickly pear cactus, and the Ollin symbol of movement and migration. Celebrating Mexican culture, the focal point features the migratory monarch bringing importance and light to migratory peoples. 

4) Kumeyaay are the original inhabitants of the land we are on. The acorns and oak leaves, staples for the Kumeyaay, form the shape of a heart with our state bird of the California Quail. This panel honors the Kumeyaay as the native stewards of present day San Diego. 

5) This panel shows a traditional Vietnamese celebratory lion dance. The lion dance is symbolized to ward off negativity and to reflect good luck and prosperity. The lotus lantern above brings light to the lotus plant which is an important cultural symbol to many South East Asian cultures. 

6) The leopard shark and endangered California Least Tern marks the critical coastal environment of San Diego and serves to remind viewers about the importance of caring for our natural environment. 

Thank you to the 100+ people who painted with us on our Community Paint Day. We are honored to have brought this piece to life and to have had so much community design input and painting throughout the entire process. 

In all, these murals are an inspiration to us: a reminder that only something so beautiful can emerge from different stories,cultural backgrounds, and hands working together. 

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A Place to Belong // November 2023

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La Mesa United Methodist Children’s Center // La Mesa

Mural Artist: Isabel Halpern

A Place to Belong // November 2023
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A place to belong, a place to be loved. This is the central motto to La Mesa United Methodist Children’s Center preschool. It serves as a reminder to the community that all are welcomed to this special space. This mural was designed by Isabel Halpern using direct feedback from LMUMCC community and families. It was important to this community to have a mural that was bright, welcoming, and uplifting as it is located right at the drop-off and pick-up area that families use everyday- the first thing children see as they embark on a new and exciting day of preschool. This is shown with cheerful sunflowers, a bright orange sun, and groups of butterflies flying towards the entrance of the school. The hills in the background represent the City of La Mesa, also known as “The Jewel of the Hills” while two bold and simple doves fly across the sky. Together in unison, they represent family, spirituality, peace, and collaboration. We hope this mural serves as a cheerful pop of color for the entire La Mesa community and continues to remind all that this is a place that cherishes belonging, acceptance, and love.

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St. Rita’s Garden // November 2023

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St. Rita’s School // Lincoln Heights

Mural Artist: Esteban Sánchez

St. Rita's Garden // November 2023
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This lively and vibrant mural was a collaboration between St. Rita’s School and the ArtReach Mural Program. Designed by artist Esteban Sánchez, the mural was brought to life by the creative contributions of over 50 students from the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes of 2023. Its purpose is to serve as a joyous and colorful backdrop for the preschool play area. The participating students not only took part in the actual painting process, but also played a key role in shaping the mural’s design. They engaged in ArtReach-led mural education workshops, where they shared their thoughts, ideas, and drawings, contributing to the overall vision of the final mural.

The mural, composed of various elements, depicts a welcoming garden filled with diverse plants, animals, and flowers. At its core stands the striking red rose which symbolizes St. Rita, the school’s patron saint. Nearby a bee takes flight and represents community, collaboration, and hard work. The mural is further adorned with vibrant daisies and sunflowers, adding cheerful bursts of color throughout, making a nod to the beauty and importance of our natural world. The hummingbirds, gracefully navigating the flowers, impart an element of peace and youthful lightheartedness to the design. Lastly, an eye-catching rainbow provides a colorful burst of wonder, a portal to students’ dreams and their bright imaginations. This mural stands as a vibrant testament and reminder of the diversity, joy, and unity within the St. Rita’s Catholic School community.

This project was made possible by the generous support of the Manitou Foundation.

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It Takes a Village // October 2023

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Copley-Price Family YMCA // City Heights

Mural Artist: Hanna Gundrum

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It takes a village to raise a child. This mural project was led by ArtReach in partnership with Children First Collective San Diego and the Copley-Price Family YMCA. Designed by muralist Hanna Gundrum, and painted by over 175 community members, this mural serves to joyfully welcome all to the Copley-Price YMCA. Painted just outside the preschool, it is dedicated to all the children, families, and child care providers of San Diego. It serves to tell a story about the importance of community care and advocacy through sheer resilience, nurturing, and hope when it comes to navigating the challenges and triumphs of child care.

Children First Collective San Diego is a coalition of organizations dedicated to tackling the challenges of access to affordable, quality child care in San Diego County. Monique Rosas, a devoted CFC Fellow, wanted to create a mural to bring awareness to the hardship that parents and caregivers encounter on the road to finding child care. The result of her vision is this striking, community-painted mural that brings awareness, resources, and hope to those on their own child care journeys.

From left to right we traverse the story of overcoming adversity through nurturing, community care, political advocacy, and eventual hopeful and bright triumph. Starting towards the left side of the mural, we see a night scene, raccoons cuddling up, weathering the long and rainy night – flickers of the moon and fireflies represent hope and persistence through challenging times. This scene also honors caregivers serving non-traditional hours. As we move onward, we see themes of nurturing and community care represented with the watering can, and village, with the phrase “It takes a village” recognizing and celebrating the incredible community of caregivers that care for our children. City Heights, in particular, has the most child caregivers per capita out of any other neighborhood in San Diego and this honors their essential work for keeping our communities thriving.

The red wagons represent the crucial political advocacy work and community action centered around access to child care, making reference to Margaret Brodkin, a leading child care advocate who organized hundreds of little red wagons to carry 68,000 voter signatures into San Francisco’s City Hall in 1991. By the end of that day, every single elected official called to personally endorse Margaret Brodkin’s child care campaign, and her efforts have since become a national model for child care advocacy. In this panel, an adult figure is walking in unison with a younger figure, pulling their wagons side-by-side, engaged in political action together.

As we make our way toward the end of the mural, we are greeted by a family biking in tandem and engaging in a healthy activity, almost as if they are biking right to the YMCA themselves. The YMCA statement of well being, shared by the littlest one in the family, reads: Well being is the pursuit of mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, and environmental health. This wholesome understanding of wellness is a crucial reminder that the policies and practices we embrace ought to hold children, and their families, in their entirety. In the last panel, the sun is out, the clouds have parted, and the initial small sprout–having been watered and cared for–is a bright flower in full bloom. Through overcoming hardship through community care, ongoing political action, and remembering the importance of health and self-care, brighter days lie ahead for all of us.

This project was generously funded by Heising-Simons Foundation.

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Salaam // September 2023

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Iftin Charter School // City Heights

Mural Artist: Esteban Sánchez

Salaam // September 2023
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These vibrant and captivating murals were a collaborative effort between artist Esteban Sánchez and middle school students from Iftin Charter School. They stand as a celebration of the profound interconnectedness between the natural world and the rich tapestry of cultures that thrive within City Heights. Upon entering the campus, students are greeted by welcoming words in six different languages, reflecting the diverse cultures that call City Heights home: English, Spanish, Arabic, Somali, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. City Heights holds a unique place as a neighborhood that intersects numerous vibrant communities, including refugees from around the globe. These murals pay homage to these resilient populations.

At the heart of both murals are various animals native to East Africa, including the lion, hartebeest, elephant, giraffe, and, notably, the camel. Camels hold special significance in Somalia for their utility, and they symbolize traits such as survival, adaptability, travel, patience, and endurance—qualities embodied by many Iftin students. Surrounding the camel is the king protea, Somalia’s national flower, known for its remarkable toughness and resilience, capable of enduring prolonged droughts and harsh climates. Additionally, the murals feature both the rising sun and crescent moon, symbolizing new beginnings, growth, and renewal. The mesmerizing desert dunes that fill the mural’s background pay tribute to the desert landscapes characteristic of many East African and Middle Eastern countries, the places of origin for the majority of Iftin families. These dunes symbolize tranquility, serenity, and the power and beauty of nature. Finally, there is a nomadic family that can be seen traveling across the dunes. Like the nomads in the mural, many Iftin families have embarked on arduous journeys, traversing the world and enduring challenging circumstances. These murals serve as a tribute to their resilience as they continue their journey. All of these elements come together to inspire and instill a lasting sense of pride in one’s heritage and community in all current and future Iftin students.

This mural was at no cost to Iftin Charter School and was made possible in part by City Council District 9 and the ArtReach Mural Program.

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Majorette // March 2023

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Majorette Storefront // College Area

Mural Artist: Katy Yeaw

Majorette // March 2023
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The project was done in partnership with the College Area Business District and the lovely Majorette on El Cajon Blvd! Led by Katy Yeaw, who specializes in sign painting, we were thrilled to add this hand-painted lettering to their storefront. Working with our client, we helped create a bold, simple, and timeless feeling to the front of this bar through clean and stylized lettering. If you haven’t checked out Majorette yet in the College Area at 6344 El Cajon Blvd, swing on by for good friends and quality food!

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Stronger Together // July 2023

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Lemon Grove Academy Middle // Lemon Grove

Mural Artist: Josué Baltézar

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This bold and inspiring mural was created through the collaboration of artist Josué Baltézar and students from the 2023 Lemon Grove Academy Middle Summer Bridge Program. It is a vibrant and captivating celebration of the interconnectedness of the natural world that is all around us. The participating students not only painted the mural with care and focus, but they also inspired much of the design imagery during ArtReach-led student workshops as well.

At the heart of the artwork stands the proud LGAM mascot, a striking wolf, howling in a display of leadership and unity. The mural seamlessly integrates with LGAM’s core “P.A.C.K.” traits: persistent, authentic, courageous, and kind, which every student aspires to embody. The loyalty and strength of wolves represent pride in one’s community and above all, demonstrate the values held dear at LGAM. Surrounding the wolf, local flora take center stage, each plant contributing to the narrative, and showcasing the strength that lies in diversity. The mariposa lilies, cacti, agave, and kelp serve as powerful symbols of resilience and adaptability, paralleling the growth and transformation experienced by students during this transitional phase of their lives.

The mural also features a vibrant rendition of the iconic Lemon Grove lemon tree, which is deeply rooted in Lemon Grove’s identity, and represents the community’s shared heritage and pride. As students and staff enter the school, they are welcomed by the sight of two crows soaring near the radiant sun, whose warm and calming presence creates an atmosphere of hope, optimism, and positivity. Crows, being highly intelligent birds, serve as reminders of the pursuit of knowledge and the importance of learning at LGAM. With its harmonious blend of natural elements, this mural serves as a source of inspiration for all who pass by. It reminds students of their shared journey toward growth, leadership, and kindness within the embrace of their Lemon Grove community.

This mural was made possible by the generous support of Lemon Grove School District.

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Heart Bloom // June 2023

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The Little Flower // College Area

Mural Artist: Regan Russell

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Community is in bloom in the College Area! This mural project is in partnership with the College Area Business District at The Little Flower on the corner of El Cajon Blvd and 56th Street. Beautifully designed by Regan Russell, who lives just down the street from The Little Flower, this mural represents the heart and community of the College Area. Daisies, roses, and carnations fit together like a puzzle and form the shape of a heart. Bright and uplifting colors, some painted by the smallest of hands during our Community Paint Day, catch the eyes of all who drive or walk by. It is a joyful reminder of the love and companionship that can exist between neighbors and even strangers. Similarly to the different types of flowers coming together in the mural, we witnessed people painting together for the first time, local businesses contributing food and drink to share (Scrimshaw, Cheba Hut, and The Cravory), and countless people stopping by to talk and share stories.

This project has been incredibly special and we are grateful we could help bring this neighborhood together through painting and collaboration. A big thank you to MariaElena of The Little Flower for being a wonderful host and for trusting us with her wall space. Thank you to the College Area Business District and College Area Community Council for making this project possible. We are excited to continue to see all that blooms in the College Area. 

This mural was funded by the College Area Business District and the College Area Community Council.

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Exercise the Dream // June 2023

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Health Station // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Isabel Halpern

Exercise the Dream // June 2023
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Welcome to Health Station! This mural, designed by artist Isabel Halpern, invites visitors to the classroom space at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center with a burst of dynamic color. Painted by Chula Vista Elementary School 4th grade students during summer camp programming, this design encompasses a diverse range of athletic imagery, including the iconic Olympic rings, an expansive and stretching track, nature-inspired elements, and the Health Station logo. Health Station provides a unique learning experience for Chula Vista Elementary School District 4th grade students by offering insights and education into various careers in the athletic field and hands-on training within an Olympic-level elite facility.

This design draws inspiration from the renowned Olympic pictograms, which symbolize the spirit of the Olympics Games. These pictograms not only depict historic sports like track and field and rowing but also showcase Paralympic sports such as wheelchair racing and archery. The focal point pictogram scene features a sports medicine physician taping the ankle of an athlete, highlighting the importance of sports medicine within the training facility and showcasing this as a potential career path. While discovering potential careers, students at Health Station learn crucial lessons like taping ankles and making model prosthetics, connecting hands-on learning to real-life experiences.

One of the fundamental values that Health Station instills in students is the significance of movement and physical activity for a healthy lifestyle. This is shown through various elements and shapes of energetic motion as well as the red heart monitor line. Cloud shapes turn into water which turns into a sandy beach landscape – paying homage to the adjacent beach volleyball courts and the scenic Otay Lake, a peaceful view that is visible from the classroom.

This mural encapsulates the essence of movement, inclusivity, health, and teamwork in the lives of young athletes and students. As the track and field sprinter is beginning their race at the starting line, so are so many of the students that will come through Health Station- beginning their journeys of health education and career exploration.

This project was made possible by the City of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Library through the Create Chula Vista Visual Arts Grant.

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The Artful Way // May 2023

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Roosevelt Middle School // Oceanside

Mural Artist: Lux Meteora

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This dynamic and radiant mural was created in collaboration with Mrs. Brayshaw’s advanced art class of 2023. Led and designed by Lead Artist Lux Meteora, this mural features a range of imagery from the visual and performing arts to the local natural landscape. The participating students not only painted the mural, but they also provided their ideas and vision for the final design during a series of ArtReach-led mural introduction workshops. 

As an Artful Learning school, RMS is committed to furthering its visual and performing arts education programs. This is reflected in the final mural design which predominantly features many symbols of the arts. The focal point of the mural is the dancer, who is depicted in a traditional ballet folklórico dress. This is an image that many of the students drew in their designs, and it draws a connection to the ballet folklórico rehearsals and performances that take place right in front of the mural space. It also connects to the bold red curtain on the left side of the mural, which directly represents theater/drama, but also frames the stage of every student’s world. The stars in the sky are a reminder to pursue one’s dreams and the flowing staff lines, musical notes, and instruments connect directly to the importance of RMS choir and band programs. The movement of the staff lines that connect to the movement of the dancer serves to represent the connection that the arts form between each other. Dancing, singing, acting, playing music, painting – when done together – the connections formed are transformational and can be for life.

In addition to the arts, students and staff emphasized the importance of the natural world in their design input, which Lux brought to life through her depiction of Guajome Regional Park and the local wildlife surrounding it: a peaceful ibis, the fluttering hummingbird, and the soaring golden eagle. Marigolds and California poppies are scattered throughout, and stretching across the sky, a stream of rainbow stripes serves to represent students of the LGBTQ+ community. Combining the excitement and movement of the performing arts with the peaceful elements of the natural world, this mural can inspire students to find their own inner artistic outlet through self expression and community connection.

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Crecemos Como Comunidad // April 2023

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Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Hanna Gundrum

Crecemos Como Comunidad // April 2023
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This vibrant and striking mural was created in collaboration with the Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School 6th grade class of 2023. Led and designed by Lead Artist Hanna Gundrum, this mural features an eclectic mix of imagery including the school’s mascot, a soccer ball, flowers, books, a paper airplane, a paint palette, and the CVLCC’s 25th-anniversary logo dedicating 25 years of learning in the community.

Over 120 6th-grade students contributed their time and focus in painting this stunning mural. In addition to painting, the participants also had the opportunity to contribute their ideas for what they envisioned on the final mural design during ArtReach-led mural introduction workshops. Inspired by student and staff input, Hanna created a scene that encompasses the many core values of the colorful CVLCC family: pride, growth, creativity, the arts, and community.

A direct student drawing, the paper airplane, symbolizes the 6th grade students’ flight and journey forward into middle school and the various flowers serve to symbolize their growth along the way. Specifically, the passion flower vine grows just around the corner in the school’s garden. The focal points of the calm jaguar and the school logo represent pride in belonging to the CVLCC family. A big and bright soccer ball serves to illustrate the love of sports and outdoor activities that occur in the field right next to the mural during and after school, while the paintbrush and palette are there to mark the creative arts. Finally, the phrases “We Grow Together” and “Crecemos Como Comunidad” highlight CVLCC’s unique position as a dual-language school and ultimately encompass a sense of belonging: that growth and achievement happen when working together.

This project was funded in part by the TahDah Foundation.

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Makers Space // April 2023

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Sound Station // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Dave ‘Persué’ Ross

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Designed by legendary graffiti artist Dave ‘Persué’ Ross, this piece welcomes all students to the immersive Makers Space within Sound Station. In this room, students will be tinkering, creating, and learning about a myriad of potential careers within the arts.

Persué’s design features some of his most iconic and recognizable characters, BunnyKitty and Rilla (the Gorilla), intermingling with musical elements, such as an electric guitar and a variety of speakers. This mural also ties into his other mural, which can be seen at the Len Moore Skatepark next door, that also features prominent characters BunnyKitty and Rilla. The skateboard that Rilla is riding on is a direct callout to the skatepark next door, as well as Persue’s lifelong involvement in the skateboarding community. Persué’s vibrant and dynamic mural is a playful and colorful addition to the Sound Station, and it will serve to inspire the many students that visit.

The Sound Station experience is a collaboration between the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the City of Chula Vista. The Sound Station aims to immerse students in the creative process while simultaneously identifying their strengths and interests in potential careers in Southern California’s burgeoning creative economy.

This project was made possible by the City of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Library through the Create Chula Vista Visual Arts Grant.

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Welcome to Sound Station // April 2023

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Sound Station // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Regan Russell

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Welcome to Sound Station // April 2023 4C929443-332D-483B-BC1A-E18CE1F85B4A 55660F90-BBCD-4712-8390-C41E05CC1E05 EBF524E6-52FB-49A0-A4A7-26572D032A9A 453AD638-6406-4F9A-945F-5A4249DD81A4 IMG_4784 Large IMG_7128 Large

This welcome mural is the first thing that students will see as they enter Sound Station. Designed by artist Regan Russell, it creates an explosive and audible pop of kinetic sound.  The vibrant and bold colors, along with the text breaking through the wall, make the mural look the way one can imagine it would sound. Sound Station is a space that encourages young people to explore their creative passions and discover ways to turn them into a career in the arts.

Regan drew inspiration from the classic comic book art of the 1980s when designing the mural, which is evident in the keytar, laser beams, and retro rocket ship elements. The rocket ship represents the start of a new adventure, connecting to the students’ exploration of creative careers. One of the mural’s most striking features is the words appearing to break out of the wall, reflecting the disruptive and innovative nature of the arts. The broken walls symbolize the barriers and challenges that students will need to overcome, while the solar system and mysterious planet represent the endless possibilities of career choices. Regan’s design serves as a testament to the unapologetic creativity and boldness of careers in the arts. The mural welcomes all students to the unique and inspiring Sound Station space.

The Sound Station experience is a collaboration between the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the City of Chula Vista. The Sound Station aims to immerse students in the creative process while simultaneously identifying their strengths and interests in potential careers in Southern California’s burgeoning creative economy.

This project was made possible by the City of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Library through the Create Chula Vista Visual Arts Grant.

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Your Dreams are Powerful // April 2023

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Sound Station // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Hanna Gundrum

Your Dreams are Powerful // April 2023
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Your Dreams are Powerful // April 2023 IMG_7223 Large IMG_7229 Large IMG_7227 Large IMG_7218 Large IMG_7099 Large IMG_7051 Large IMG_7101 Large

This mural, designed by artist Hanna Gundrum, is the final stop for students on their field trip experience at Sound Station -this room is where they will decide on which potential career in the arts they wish to pursue.

Hanna’s mural design showcases the diverse options available to students at Sound Station, including music production, sound engineering, graphic design, musical performance, and illustration. These options are represented by the record, computer, microphone, trumpet, guitar, and hand holding a pencil. A cool character can be seen skating through the scene, absorbed in the journey and the music, tying everything together. The bright and uplifting color palette symbolizes the bright future ahead for students pursuing a career in the arts. The computer screen’s motivational message, “Your Dreams are Powerful,” reinforces Hanna’s message that every student’s dreams are worth pursuing, and they are capable of making them come to life.

Hanna wants every student who enters this space to know that their dreams are powerful and they have the potential to achieve them.

The Sound Station experience is a collaboration between the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the City of Chula Vista. The Sound Station aims to immerse students in the creative process while simultaneously identifying their strengths and interests in potential careers in Southern California’s burgeoning creative economy.

This project was made possible by the City of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Library through the Create Chula Vista Visual Arts Grant.

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Legacy // March 2023

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Rosebank Elementary // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Josué Baltézar

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This mural was created with the Rosebank Elementary 6th grade class of 2023. This bold, bright, and beautiful design by Lead Artist Josué Baltézar (a Rosebank Elementary alum!) creates a stunning piece for this active area of campus.

In addition to painting the mural, the 6th grade students also had an opportunity to offer their own design ideas for what they wanted to see on this wall space. Drawing on inspiration from both students and staff, Josué created a scene of the Chula Vista landscape: the ocean, mountains, living coast, and joyful sun. The cresting wave imagery symbolizes forward movement and success, while the broader concept of water represents resilience and our shared humanity. The mirroring coral plants are symbols of community and oneness: working together to build something bigger than ourselves. Of course, the focal point of the mural is the mascot of Rosebank: the calm panther looking towards the horizon, instilling both school and individual pride in all students. Many 6th grade participants drew birds, which Josué included as a representation of hope and of each student’s unique flight and journey throughout elementary school and their future educational careers. Lastly, there are various different plants throughout, symbolizing transformation, growth, and diversity.

The five roses in this design each represent one of Rosebank’s 5 core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, and Perseverance. We hope that when students walk by this mural, they will be reminded of these 5 values and of their own potential for growth. This mural is a celebration of the legacy that Rosebank students are creating, and of the Rosebank community as a whole.

This project was made possible by the City of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Library through the Create Chula Vista Visual Arts Grant and with support from Gensler San Diego.

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¡Bienvenidos! We are Lauderbach // February 2023

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J. Calvin Lauderbach Elementary // Chula Vista

Mural Artist: Josué Baltézar

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Welcome and Bienvenidos to J. Calvin Lauderbach Elementary! A school of transformation, growth, collaboration, and rootedness. Designed by Lead Muralist Josué Baltézar, who grew up in Chula Vista himself, this mural serves to welcome all to a bright and lively school community. Over 100 6th-grade students from the class of 2023 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 during ArtReach-led workshops by sharing their words, ideas, and drawings of what they could envision for the front of their school. The result is this stunning and colorful legacy mural, painted by their very own hands.

From left to right, we start with the larger-than-life, Opuntia (prickly pear cactus) which represents the strength and resilience that Lauderbach students and community carry within them. Joyful Papel Picado (perforated paper) with three birds rests above the door. These three birds not only symbolize journey and destination, but also distinctly stand for 3 generations of Lauderbach families and the deep-rootedness of this community as a whole.

The Lauderbach Cougar, representing school pride, sits and looks towards a hopeful and bright horizon, surrounded by the golden blooms of our state flower, the California poppy. Above the windows is an homage to the City of Chula Vista by a rendered visual tie to the city logo, further encompassing Chula Vista pride. Lastly, the word Bienvenidos (Welcome) can be seen right at the pickup/drop off area. This marks Lauderbach’s unique position as a dual language immersion school and also welcomes all to the Lauderbach Family. This imaginative mural is a bold reminder of what can be achieved when many people collaborate with care and connection. Above all, it is a reminder to all students that just like the powerful and growing Opuntia, they also carry within themselves their own potential for growth, transformation, and the ability to bloom.

This project was made possible by the City of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Library through the Create Chula Vista Visual Arts Grant.

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You Are Loved // January 2023

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Nativity Prep Academy // College Area

Mural Artist: Regan Russell

You Are Loved // January 2023
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These murals were painted by 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students in an after-school program. Designed by Lead Artist Regan Russell, the murals welcome all to an uplifting, colorful, and transformative campus. Not only did the participating students help paint the mural, but they co-created the various imagery shown on the two mural walls.

The main mural wall shows doves in flight carrying olive branches. The doves symbolize the Holy Spirit and also double to represent peace. They are carrying the branches together, collaborating, illustrating the deep-rooted and connected Nativity Prep community and family. The doves fly toward the centered Guiding Star, which is also one out of eleven total stars on the main mural wall. Nativity Prep students are first generation students. Eleven stars represent Nativity Prep’s 11-year commitment, each representing one year of a student’s journey toward their college graduation. Lastly, the three crowns on the right give light and importance to the school’s mascot, The Magi. The Magi serve as a reminder to believe in blessings, trust the journey, follow our guiding lights and in doing so, create lives of opportunity, choice, and service.

Just around the corner, at the entrance to the Mentoring Space and adjacent to a cross, reads in big and bright letters: “You are Loved”. As a community of faith, love is a lived experience at Nativity Prep. All are welcome, all are loved.

This mural project was funded by the generous support of the Lawrence A. Appley Foundation.

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