Often, a mural is an enticement to attract public attention to social issues. For the teens participating in PCRC’s Emerging Leaders Program, a mural is much more.

The idea of exposing a work of art depicting youth images on a wall of the South San Francisco High School required a series of steps. “We spent a lot of time researching muralism, Hip-Hop culture, art, community beautification and other forms of creative expression,” explained Gustavo Lopez, PCRC Youth Program Associate, to describe the first step of the ELP Mural Project. Secondly, they hired a professional muralist who helped in the development of the mural.

The third step was to conduct fundraising activities to support the purchase of supplies, transportation, consultant services and an unveiling event. The group raised $1165.00 through the “GoFundMe” website in less than four months. The painting phase started on July 25th and took four days to complete. “This project represented an opportunity to be critically conscious, empowered and invested agents in the school and community of South San Francisco,” added Lopez.

The mural reflects and embraces positive images of youth, as well as their culture and diversity. At the same time, it has a broader significance: a mural created BY people FOR people. “The mural brought new ideas to youth on what we can do to bring forward a message to the community, many people from the community supported this project by giving donations towards the paint and I felt proud and glad that I had a chance to help,” said Marco Magallo, program participant. As Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco once noted: “The highest, the most logical, the purest form of painting is the mural. It is, too, the most disinterested form, for it cannot be made a matter of private gain: it cannot be hidden away for the benefit of a certain privileged few. It is for the people. It is for all.”

The EML Mural will be unveiled at a special event on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. For more information read on, or please contact Gustavo Lopez at glopez@pcrc.org

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