The Arroyo Willow and Live Oak Singing Tree of Differences and Appreciation
43 sixth graders in the classes of Mr. Showalter-Garcia and Ms. Marsh were the Lead Design Team in this “Peace Building Through Art” program. It is one of three paintings created in the Fall of 2023 by the students of Piner-Olivet Union School District.
In 10 days, the students chose the theme of “Differences and Appreciation,” researched and selected trees, designed and painted the background, drew and cut out over 500 leaves and birds, went to all the classes in the school to invite students and staff to make images of what they appreciate on the cutouts, and glued the cutouts. Finally the sixth graders made a presentation in front of the whole school, unveiling the completed mural. They gained skills in leadership, communication, creativity, and collaboration.
The painting celebrates the mascot of Schaefer Elementary School - the Bear. The Arroyo Willow symbolizes grief and recovery, and the Live Oak symbolizes abundance and strength. The Pomo People are honored in the crescent moon with a design inspired by a Pomo basket. Maurice Schaefer, whose farm land was sold to make the school, is in the middle of the earth. The project was funded by a California Arts and Music grant.
“Making this mural was an opportunity of a lifetime.”
- Owen, age 11
Laurie Marshall and Lili Lopez
California Arts and Music
Santa Rosa, CA