Precita Eyes Muralists
Title: “Your School is your Temple”
©2019 Precita Eyes Muralists for San Francisco Coalition of Essential Small Schools at Thurgood Marshall Academic High School
When Yuka Ezoe, Diego Irizarry, and I first visited the school in February 2019, we saw a rainbow that was very low and made the school look like it was floating on clouds above the rainbow. Besides representing pride, the rainbow background also enforces positivity and good luck fortune for Thurgood Marshall Academic High School. The rainbow is not rendered in the traditional fashion of a ROYGBIV order, but provides a green turquoise framing on the top & bottom of the entire mural.
The overall warm background colors were the first colors in the visions from 4 students after a meditation session held with them. The warm colors represent a sunrise of a bright future and a safe family feeling for the youth of the school. It also enforces how the students are our future.
The location of the school is up high on the hill of Hunters Point and Bayview. Hence the city icons of the Golden Gate bridge, Sutro Tower, and Transamerica can be seen in the background to enforce the location of where the school is located. Since the school is up high on the hill, the students always see the foggy clouds and it is shown with an Asian cultural reference.
Since the school is up high on a hill, the students need to climb stairs everyday to reach their school and the location mimics how high a temple or sacred place is located on top of a mountain, so the triangular motif of the background enforces the school location.
The climbing up the mountain also represents the challenge all students go through in their school life. In addition, the fog that the birds need to navigate through also represents the hardship and problems that the students go through.
The birds represent not only migration, but they represent the diversity of the students of caucasian, African American (blue crane), Asian (red crowned crane), Mexico/Latino (caracara eagle), and Guatamala (Quetzal), and they fly in a triangle formation enforcing positive direction, going left to right. I asked the students to somehow show their cultural reflection, so the Motmot bird of El Salvador (shown on top of the Golden Gate Bridge, and Caracara bird of Mexico (shown flying on the Right) were selected. The pelican, black crow, and pidgeon were added since they are the birds that fly around the Bay View and Hunters Point area.
When asked what the culture of Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, the students defined the common music, visual arts, and dance as the most important elements that they share. Music notes were rendered in the asian style clouds on the right of the mural to represent this.
The two figures on the right represent them as "bird people" with Phoenix-like features because the Phoenix is their school mascot. Since dance is important to them, the figures are in a swirling dance positions and also reflect the dance that birds do with each other when they play and communicate.
Directed by Mike Bam Tyau and Diego Irizarry, this mural took 4 weeks to complete with 6 students everyday after school. We hope it inspires the art students to follow their passion in mural arts, start a mural club, and one day for Precita Eyes Muralists to return to Thurgood Marshall Academic high school to create another mural.