For the past few years, Lafayette Elementary School Principal Wanda Suarez, Sally Jarvis and other community partners have been working to transform a 15-foot-high retaining wall facing the playground. The decaying wall was an eyesore, in need of repair. The Lafayette Mural Committee*, commissioned artist Ophelia Chambliss to work with Lafayette Elementary students to create a stunning new mural to spruce up the previously dreary wall. Ophelia and committee decided that a student inspired collaborative mural painted on mural fabric and installed on the wall would be the most vibrant, effective, and sustainable way to celebrate the diversity and strength of the community.
After years of planning and hard work, the mural was installed today and Ophelia's vision came to life. Prior to today's mural installation, the entire wall was repaired and painted a neutral grey. The committee, Ophelia, students, and teachers volunteered to work with the artist to install the mural panels.
The mural has 5 beautiful panels featuring the following themes; seasons, animals, musical instruments, transporation, and floral still-lives. Students actually painted on some of the panels, while others were painted by the professional, though inspired by the student's original work. To say that each panel captures an important aspect of the community's diversity would be an understatement of the truth.
The mural committee is planning an unveiling ceremony in September, to coincide with Lafayette's birthday and a back to school celebration.
Well done Ophelia and the Lafayette Mural Committee! The Office of Public Art is proud to have been a small part in this project. We know students will love it for years to come!
Public Art intern
*The committee is made up of:
Sally Jarvis, Community Volunteer
Wanda Suarez, Lafayette School Principal
Vincent Baker, Art Teacher (retired)
Wesley Blymire, Art Teacher
Tracy Beyl, Public Art Manager, City of Lancaster (2013-2015)
Heidi Leitzke, Public Art Manager, City of Lancaster
Cindy Morris, Community Volunteer
Dennis LaPorte, Director of Facilities, SDoL
Michael Slechta, Coordinator for Music, Art, Humanities & 21st century Skills, SDoL
Barbara Lombardo, Development Coordinator SDoL
Evelyn Arrocho, Lafayette parent