Children First Academy of Phoenix opened the doors of its new campus to students for the first time in late August of this year. Homeless youth in grades K-9 are brought to the school from a wide area of the valley for an educational experience tailored to their unique needs.
After weeks of research and design, I came up with a visual timeline showing key events in the history of the United States and Arizona. Events depicted in the mural show the triumphs of American culture (such as the Constitution, Emancipation and the Revolutionary War) as well as some of its struggles (such as the War of 1812, the Great Depression and Pearl Harbor).
I was affectionately known by many of my employees on the project as “Mr. Whiting” due to my memorable one-year term in 2007-2008 as an art teacher at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, AZ.
Though over five years had passed since I left Mt. Ridge, my former students Marianne Rzemien, Alexander Chang, Tara Takemoto, Tony Baril, Chad Weintraut, Rubi Pinkston and Michelle Campana stepped forward to assist in the endeavor along with their friends Jonathan Caudle, Daria Timonina and Alexa Chrisbacher and my friends Rachael Lyddon and Christopher Johnson.
Charlie Chaplin’s likeness used by permission (c) Charlie Chaplin TM Bubbles SA