The Madrone and Redwood Singing Tree of Peace and Justice
This painting was created by a Lead Design Team of 27 sixth graders in the class of Mr. Walker and Facilitated by Leslie Rein and Lili Lopez. It is one of three paintings made in the Fall of 2023 by students of Piner-Olivet Union School District. In this “Peace Building Through Art” program the students chose the theme of “Peace and Justice.”
The sixth graders researched and selected the trees, then designed and painted the background. Next, they drew and cut out 499 leaves, birds, and stars. Then they went to all the classes in the school to invite students and staff to draw images of peace and justice on the leaves. Everyone’s leaves were added to the mural. 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 Osprey, the Olivet Elementary School mascot, whose vision is said to bring an elevated view to challenging situations. The Madrone Tree symbolizes balance between darkness and light, protection and safety, and the Redwood Tree symbolizes longevity, strength, and energy. The project was funded by a California Arts and Music grant.
“If you’re not fighting, you can make something great together.”
-Victor, age 11
Leslie Rein and Lili Lopez
California Arts and Music