Students and staff of Lake Shore Elementary gathered in their school’s courtyard to celebrate the completion of the Mariposa Mural. All K-5 students worked with local mural artist Christian Barrios to create a legacy art piece for the school that focuses on diversity and belonging. A Foundation for VPS Engagement Grant helped fund the year-long project.
The mural is installed outside the school on overlooking their memorial butterfly garden. The vibrant mural depicts the life cycle of butterflies and the Pacific Northwest indigenous plants in the garden. Through the project students were engaged in exploring Latino/a/x and Hispanic art and culture.
“Through the Mariposa Mural project, a school-wide, co-creative, year-long activity, we hope to build a sense of belonging among all the members of our Lake Shore community through a shared, creative experience,” said Wendy Thompson who led the project along with fellow Visual and Performing Arts teacher, Erin Stromme.
Throughout the year students worked with Mr. Barrios learning the science and art of mural painting. Barrios and the students began by working on a small scale, sketching designs. Students then transferred their work to a larger surface, building their drawing and painting skills. Barrios worked with students to complete the final version. Throughout the project students learned to work cooperatively joyously toward a shared goal.
Having created two murals on Fourth Plain Blvd., Barrios is active in the Oregon and Washington Latino art scene, with exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, Portland State University, The Dalles Art Center, Concordia University, and other locations and private collections beyond Oregon and Washington.
In addition to his impressive curriculum vitae, Barrios was also selected for the project because he is a Lake Shore parent. Stomme and Thompson hoped that through the project, Barrios, who was born in Mexico City, could serve as a positive role model for Lake Shore’s male multilanguage learners, encouraging their confidence, pride, and sense of belonging.
The Mariposa Mural will be a lasting reminder of the Lake Shore’s commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students.
The Foundation for VPS provides opportunities so all students have opportunities that spark their interests, connect them to their passion, and help them envision and plan for their future success in college, career and life. For the 2022-23 school year, the Foundation for VPS allocated $120,000 in Engagement Grants to fund unique enrichment activities and experiences for students at every VPS school. Since 1998, the Foundation for VPS has awarded more than one million dollars to fund innovative and exciting projects that enrich student learning.