The 2018 LILA Silverlake Mural project is an artist in residence collaboration with Greg and Jude Beylerian and the Early Learning Center of The International School of Los Angeles (LILA) located in SilverLake, California.
The design challenge for this project was to find a way to integrate an age range of students from Pre-K (3 years old) to 5th Grade (11 years old). We wanted each and every student to have a full participatory experience and needed to find a solution to reconcile the potential aesthetic catastrophe that one could imagine when handing over 100 young children a paint brush (which some can barely hold) and give them freedom on a 100 foot white building wall.
The solution as always was found by not imploding from the fear of failing to create something beautiful with such young participants, instead we were going to empower them. By honing in on the beauty and truthful nature of abstract art and understanding that technical skill was not necessary to achieve a beautiful visual outcome, this could be our format. After all many seasoned artists speak of trying to regain the freedom that is apparent in the painting of a child.
By allowing a layering process to occur (to accommodate an entire campus of participating children), we were able to weave the energy and dynamic brush strokes of every child with our own. One might think the accomplishment was in surviving a potential paint-storm. The truth is that the new campus with its white walls felt without life and now there is a noticeable beautiful presence when one enters the school premises. We all together accomplished a vibrant yet soothing contribution to the school, a transformative feeling that only art can bring.