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Inaugural mural project on campus a colorful success

With the help of a local artist who worked on commission for a very reasonable cost, our students were able to complete a project we have planned for a number of years: a beautiful mural that represents the unique mission of our school.

German Corrales, who has worked for over ten years as a local artist, primarily doing murals in San Diego and in Tijuana, Mexico, committed seven weeks of his time beginning in early May to work with each grade-level group of Nativity students. His design, which includes the abiding symbols of change and growth (among others, a tree, the sun, monarch butterflies, and honey bees), features as the centerpiece the Virgin de Guadalupe, the perennial symbol of grace, hope, and courage so often portrayed in Mexican Catholic culture.

The mixed-media installation of the Virgin de Guadalupe serves as the centerpiece of the new mural on the Nativity campus.

The mixed-media installation of the Virgin de Guadalupe serves as the centerpiece of the new mural on the Nativity campus.

“I couldn’t believe when we started that it would come out looking so cool,” remarked a sixth-grade student. “We couldn’t understand at first how our work week to week was going to look,” she added. “But, wow! This is a nice reminder of our work together with Mr. Corrales.”

Students worked under the direction of Mr. Corrales and Mr. Trevor Crest, Nativity’s art teacher, twice a week by grade level. Each sixty-minute class period for the grade groups each week, for the seven weeks, was devoted to painting the mural. Students brought in old shirts, shoes, and shorts or pants to avoid ruining their school clothes. “I’m glad we changed each day,” said a Nativity seventh grader. “My teachers and my mom would not have been very happy if I got paint on my good clothes.”

Finishing the mural required the help and support of a number of people. Fr. Roger Lechner, the pastor of Holy Spirit, where Nativity shares its campus with the church and its administrative offices, was happy to designate a perfect space for the mural project. “It adds a lot of color to the space. I’m happy that we could devote the wall for the mural.”

The Nativity Prep Parent Committee also contributed funds that it had raised this past year to help subsidize the costs for the paint and supplies. “We are proud of our students and we’re eager to help pay for some of the costs,” commented Maria Mendez, a Parent Committee member. “Nativity has given our families so much…it is nice to be able to give back in some way.”

The Frazee family, a local family with ties to Nativity, also contributed a sizeable donation to cover the remainder of the costs and to provide a modest stipend for Mr. Corrales. We are grateful to the Frazees for their generosity.

And finally, we are proud of our Nativity students for their effort and commitment to the project as well, and for their choice of a very appropriate quotation for the mural wall, one from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., the Jesuit priest and philosopher: “God is not remote from us. He is at the point of my pen, my shovel, my paint brush…and my heart.”

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