First, choose a design. When Living Classrooms at Patterson Park asked Cristo Rey Jesuit if we could help them create a mural for their building at Utz Twardowicz Field, Mr. Shapiro asked students to come up with a design that would represent all that the park means to us — sports, health, diversity, gardening, and more. The best design, Mr. Shapiro figured, would include scenes from around the park itself.
A contest for entries was announced and a winning design selected with the help of Ms. Maritza Dominguez, who is the director of Living Classroom’s programs at Patterson Park. CRJ freshman Marilin Medrano’s design won.
Second place was awarded to Living Classrooms student José Costilla and third place to CRJ sophomore Beatriz Costilla.
Prepping the mural space went like this: First a copy of the mural was made and then a grid drawn over it. Each square in the grid was numbered.
The wall was then divided into the same number of squares. When it was time to draw, students were assigned a square. Square by square, the design was penciled in until the whole design was on the wall.
Once the design was drawn onto the wall, the painting could begin.
Soon, the project reached deeper into the community — volunteers from the Foundry Church, who lived near the park and heard about the project, pitched in to help as well, bringing babies that were rocked as their parents painted.
Then, it was time to paint the finishing touches, to blue the sky and to outline in black each element in the mural design .
Finally, Marilin signed the mural.
On May 22, Marilin and Mr. Shapiro unveiled the mural at CRJ’s community picnic. Mr. Rhett Murphy, a Canton-based filmmaker, attended the unveiling and made a short video about the mural project.
Last year, CRJ students painted a mural at Education Based Latino Outreach (EBLO), a longtime school partner and a place were many CRJ students participate in community service.
“It’s great to be able to continue to contribute to the community through art,” Mr. Shapiro said. “The students should be really proud of how beautiful this mural is.”