[Context to these programs in lieu of critiques by the press and others of WHP: Watts Towers Art Center hosted excellent art programs for children during the summer months but, given the limited space and the additional children bused in from outside of the area, many children in the neighborhood were not allowed to participate. This is reason we decided to host art programs for these children.]
This was the second class I organized during the first Summer Art Series at Watts House Project. Working with a shoe string budget I had to improvise to realize the mural project. I borrowed from an observation made by one of the children in the previous month’s gardening class about the driveway at the Platform (WHP’s headquarters). She said that the concrete driveway reminded her of two flowing rivers leading to a large lake in the courtyard. I thought her insight was brilliant and imaginative, so I decided to make that vision a reality. I asked Raith Grimes, a graffiti artist attending Art Center, to lead the class. Raith and I prepped the space by painting the driveway sky blue and use that space teach the children how to stencil and paint. Raith and I cut stencils of fish, lobsters, seahorses, manta rays, and other ocean life from cardboard boxes that I picked up from grocery stores in the area. Cutting cardboard with dull scissors was a feat all its own! We capped the class with a delicious feast of ceviche.