Northeast artist Hector Casanova and his Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) students are installing more murals at Whittier Elementary.
Casanova’s students are designing and creating art boards to install at Whittier. As of now, the students are roughly halfway done with the project, and the results can be seen along a retaining wall to the north of the school’s eastern entrance.
On Thursday, November 30, school district employees began to install the latest set of completed mural panels at Whittier. Casanova and his students interviewed Whittier students to derive inspiration for the mural project back in October. The children were divided up into groups based on their continent of heritage and asked for input based on their cultural experiences.
Students from Asia mentioned elephant parades, water festivals, and the Lunar New Year celebration. North American students suggested a mural of what schools were like prior to technology, adding their futuristic visions of schools that included flying cars and space ships.
Latin American students explained Día de Los Muertos, when they celebrate the lives of lost loved ones. African students talked about Eid, Ramadan, and other holidays that are celebrated with barbecues in the park.
The Whittier mascot is a lion, and so the principal encouraged the artists to incorporate lions into the murals where it was appropriate as well.
Casanova’s KCAI students will be coming back in the next week to follow up with teachers and students, about the multi-cultural themes presented in their finished work and talk to children about pursuing career paths in creative and visual arts.