Listen to highlights from a visit to the new mural at Juvenile Hall. (KZYX stream)
Students at Juvenile Hall have been working for months on
the second 29-foot long mural in the outdoor quad depicting nature
scenes from Mendocino County.
They’re also re-creating
the first 29-foot-long mural on a pair of panels that will be displayed
at the libraries in Round Valley and Laytonville, so members of the
public can enjoy them without traveling to Juvenile Hall in Ukiah. Local
artist Danza Davis, who was also the lead artist on the original mural
in 2018, has degrees in botany, studio art, and science illustration.
For her, the project is as much about science as it is about art.
project is funded by Dean and Sharon Edell, the Community Foundation,
and two grants through the Arts Council: JumpStarts and Get Art in the
Schools Program. And the thirteen kids who were at the hall on Thursday
afternoon were definitely at school. Aside from one sign declaring that
hardcover books are not to be taken back to students’ rooms, the
classroom where the unfinished panel lay on a table was like any other
school room. A poster about Navajo math, a handmade storyboard about
George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and notes about where to find supplies were
all signs of an education in progress. That’s what Juvenile Hall
Superintendent David Barrett strives for.
significant difference between this school and others is that students
only stay as long as they are sentenced, sometimes only for a few weeks.
Back in that classroom, showing off a panel with a replica of the North
County scene from the first mural, Davis spoke about how she hopes
re-creating those images will also create a sense of connection among
the various students who have worked on the project over the years.