Map of the installation

The Inspiration

The inspiration for this exhibit is the more than two thousand children of Bayview Hunters Point Community Elementary Schools: Bret Harte, Carver, Charles Drew, Malcolm X and 21st Century Academy. These children have participated in the Children’s Mural Program, a Bayview Opera House Visual Arts Program focused on the environment. Their paintings and essays about the Sun, Earth, Air, Water, Soil, Plants, Animals, Their Own Backyard, Earth Day and Hunters Point Shipyard have given me a great reverence for the planet and an even greater joy for paint and painting. They have also given me the greatest gift of life… the gift of love. Love comes in many forms. Fun is one of my favorites. One child wrote, "Learning can be fun when I get to paint." This has been the slogan of the Children’s Mural Program ever since. I have had great fun learning from the many children in this very popular and highly successful arts program. We hope you will appreciate the children’s paintings seen around the room, and the connection of this art to Chief Seattle’s letter and the content of this exhibit…home and family.

I have had great fun with the children and their teachers. Without the ongoing support of the scores of teachers-who have worked tirelessly with our artist/instructors to bring high quality lesson to the children about their cultures and the planet-we could not have sustained and grown our program. We are grateful to every one of them. The principals too deserve credit for their willingness to let us take over their multi-purpose rooms one afternoon each week so that we can take a blank page and, with paint, create worlds.

The artist/instructors who serve the community in the Children’s Mural Program are my band of angels. They are creators of the highest order and I hope that you will appreciate their art, which is also on display with the children’s around the perimeter of the Opera House’s theater floor. They are bringers of the light—that is, the color wheel, from which comes shape, line and texture. Patterns emerge from these and life and art becomes, in this way, very rich in their company.

All images © Heidi Hardin 2001