After reading an article about the student constructed mural at Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School in the San Francisco Mission District that was accidentally covered up by maintenance crews, I felt the need to help. These students spent nearly two years working on this mural to have all of their hard work and dedication covered up by a coat of primer.
Please help fund the reconstruction of this mural and restore the art that these children completed.
See school website if you'd like to sing up to help restore the mural.
SF school scrambles to restore obliterated mural
Updated 11:52 a.m., Monday, June 25, 2012
Less than a month after San Francisco middle school students put finishing touches on a brightly colored mural that took the better part of two years to plan, draw and paint, district workers followed orders to cover it up with a coat of yellow primer.
Only after the images of the Golden Gate Bridge, the school's fire-breathing dragon mascot and 200 feet of monkeys, yellow fish, blue waves and the city's polychromatic skyline were virtually obliterated did anyone realize the summer-break work order was a terrible mistake.
She received a text message on June 14 saying all the effort had been wiped out with a quick coat of paint.
"My stomach just dropped," she said. "It was like a year and half worth of work."
The problems started earlier in the school year when parents participated in a committee to address maintenance issues at the school.
They decided that the entire building and adjacent walls needed a fresh coat of paint, including several murals that were falling apart or had been painted by a church group that had previously used the Mission District building.
They didn't know the long mural along the base of the Bartlett Street wall below a chain-link fence was new and created by current students. Administrators who approved the request were also unaware of the mural's importance.
When all the parties involved found out, they were devastated, district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said in an e-mail explaining the mural's misfortune.
"Once they realized that this mural was new and the teacher who worked on it was understandably upset, the parents who were involved in the facilities committee were very apologetic," she said.
School administrators were working with contractors, the teacher and the school to figure out if the mural could be saved.
McMahon was surprised by the overwhelming response.
"I thought it was going to be something shoved under the carpet," she said. "There was an apology and responsibility was taken for it."
The mural covered about two-thirds of the wall, and McMahon had hoped to work with students starting in the fall to plan and finish the rest.
But the question is: Now what?
With only one coat of paint over the mural, hazy images still show through and it's possible that, working from student drawings, the mural can be re-created, McMahon said.
Parents have volunteered to help.
McMahon said adults could redraw the outlines and then the whole community could help fill in the blue waves teeming with schools of yellow fish, the brown swinging monkey, the green cactus, City Hall's gold dome, and the orange and black at AT&T Park.
"That might be a way to restore what happened, and more people will be involved in it and think it's theirs," the teacher said. "We've learned a lot of lessons through it. I think it'll come back together."