Monday, June 4, 2012

Found Art-- César Chavez Elementary School San Francisco

I’ve written before about the murals that fill nearly every wall in the Mission District of San Francisco—locally  designed art that expresses the hopes and aspirations, traditions and goals, heroes and saints of the many ethnic groups that make up the area.
 Most impressive to me were the painted walls of the César Chavez Elementary School on Shotwell Street in the Mission district.
 I was told that the murals were the work of two local women—I don’t know their names.  I was also told that the elementary school teaches four languages: English, Spanish, (80 per cent of the students are from Spanish-speaking families) Mandarin Chinese and American Sign Language (ASL.)  All across the front of the school is the alphabet illustrated in all of these languages.

All of the paintings are inspirational.
 Here is the back of the school, with illustrations of César Chavez, grape pickers and children learning and achieving.
 The slogan of the school is “Si, Se Puede!”—“Yes, it can be done.”

I think the murals on the walls of this school are an excellent illustration of how art, including folk art, can inspire and teach, even in the poorest and least advantaged neighborhoods.

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