LYNWOOD, CA. – Abbott Elementary School sixth-grade students put their imagination and art skills to the test, officially unveiling a colorful mural they created for their school community during a festive celebration on Feb. 3.
The project – sponsored by nonprofit Turnaround Arts: California – was spearheaded by Abbott Elementary teacher Ann Salvador and artist Lilia “Liliflor” Ramirez, who worked with nearly 70 students over the last several months to bring their vision of honoring the Earth, its people and its beauty to life.
“We were inspired by the butterfly representing peace and rights – peace for the indigenous people who fought for a better way of life and rights for African Americans who fought for a better world,” Abbot student Miranda Puentes said. “We also added flowers and trees to represent our desire to care for the Earth. The mural is inspired by Janie P. Abbot Elementary because we love our school.”
Using a polytab technique, Ramirez worked with students to paint their original sketch on a malleable, woven fabric material – measuring just under 13 feet by 12.6 feet – which was then pasted onto a platform facing Clark Street.
“As an artist born and raised in Los Angeles, I am passionate about using art as a tool for civic engagement, personal transformation and as a way to envision a better future,” Ramirez said. “This mural is truly a labor of love and we are very excited for the entire community to enjoy it.”
Named “We Are All Connected,” the mural is inspired by the indigenous Tongva people, the California poppy and climate change. It aims to unite the community as well as encourage students to take pride in their work and recognize their potential to impact change in the world.
“I wanted to show the students that even though they’re young, they can leave an impact,” Salvador said. “This project shows them that we see and hear them, and hopefully in the future we can create more legacy projects like this.”
A Turnaround Arts school since 2018, Abbott has expanded its arts education program to every student. The nonprofit provides arts resources, teacher training and support to integrate arts into core academic subjects. Washington Elementary became LUSD’s second Turnaround Arts school in 2021.
“At our Turnaround Arts schools, innovation and imagination are thriving, student engagement and achievement are improving, and school cultures are radiating with positivity,” Superintendent Dr. Gudiel Crosthwaite said. “Art teaches our students about the potential impact of their imagination and gives them the freedom to express it. Thank you to everyone who was involved in this art project and for working with our students to create a piece that they will always remember.”
LUSD_ABBOTT_1: Artist Lilia “LiliFlor” Ramirez and Abbott Elementary School students unveil the “We Are All Connected” legacy mural during an event on Feb. 3.
LUSD_ABBOTT_2: Artist Lilia “LiliFlor” Ramirez celebrates the unveiling of the “We Are All Connected” legacy mural on Feb. 3 at Abbot Elementary School.