Today's mosaic decorates the exterior of Grand View Avenue Elementary School in Mar Vista. In ten years, it might cover half the wall--who knows?
Any of these photos can be clicked to enlarge. In a weird way, budget cuts are responsible for the mosaic.
Budget cuts have forced the elimination of many arts programs from school schedules, as we all know; this has been going on for years...decades, sadly. Volunteers and financial benefactors have stepped in to try and make up for the cuts.
At Grand View El, a privately-funded group called P.S. Arts visits and involves the 600-ish students in both music and art programs, including this mosaic. The students created the tiles you see here.
P.S. Arts brings its art programs to schools all over Southern California. Some are part of LA Unified, others not--Lawndale, Santa Monica and Malibu all participate. The group is funded by private donations. For example, a huge gift from the Herb Albert Foundation supports the Lawndale school projects and classes. P.S. Arts even has an online store.
There are other programs too, besides music and visual arts. P.S. Arts employs teachers in dance and theater. Schools can choose what would most interest their students. And I suspect that similar organizations exist--Art To Grow On in the L.A. Harbor area comes to mind.
Grand View Avenue Elementary School began working with P.S. Arts sixteen years ago. And though it's not a mosaic, another example of the tile work by students at the bottom of this post sits on a wall in the lunch area. It's a huge display.