In 2006, when entering my art education master’s program, I was hesitant and distrustful of 3D art. I had it in my mind that working with multiple dimensions held no place in my development as an illustrative artist. In the past decade, I have been delighted to be so wrong about 3D art. My father taught me in landscape architecture the art of building with my hands. My mother taught me that work that was hand crafted was always more powerful to give than work that was purchased. It is due to the both of my parents that I have begun to see the world as a canvas.
In the spring of 2011, one of the students with whom I was closest, Sean Fuchs, was taken from this world. Less than six weeks prior to the event that took his life, he wrote a poem that included the line, “Honestly, I don’t care if I go down in history. I don’t care if I am remembered. But if I am, I hope that it’s for a good reason.”
Sean was not a person drenched in tragedy as he lived life. He was happy and alive. I remember he and I would often laugh. Laughing was our communal endeavor. I knew, almost immediately, after his death that I would refuse to let him be remembered for the way that he died. He needed to be remembered for the way that he lived.
Over the course of ten months, from the day of his death to his birthday, I worked closely with 85 different students within my classes, Sean’s family, and over 600 members of the school to create his mural.
Sean’s “Imagine Mural” can be seen permanently on display at the front of the High Tech High Chula Vista high school campus.
Collaborator: Kay Flewelling
Objective: Fifty-two students, over the course of one semester, using Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, mandala design techniques, mosaic design techniques and lessons taught to the entire school of High Tech High Chula Vista, will create two mosaic mandalas (10ft x 8ft and 6ft x 8ft) that will show their reaction to the study of violence throughout human history.
Objective: In the fall of 2012, I worked with 50 students over the course of 13 weeks to design and create a mural that depicted combined reflections of the propositions that were facing California voters, as well as the assigned readings from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.