On June 28th, 2017, the San Leandro Improvement Association (SLIA), in partnership with the Big Picture Arts Program, mounted Downtown San Leandro’s first public art mural at the intersection of E.14th and W. Juana Ave. as part of our organizational mission to diversify the pedestrian experience in our downtown district. The mural, titled “Spacetime from a Breath of Air,” shows a young girl blowing bubbles in the shape of planets, symbolizing a child’s imagination and is intended to breath new life into our downtown beautification efforts. What’s more, the mural was designed and painted with the help of two students from San Leandro’s own Lincoln High School, a testament to what can be achieved when young artists are given the right opportunities to give back to their communities.
Big Picture Arts Program works with young graffiti offenders to teach these artists how to express themselves through fine art, drawing, and painting in a positive environment. “The inspiration behind the mural stems from the powerful idea of getting inside a child’s imagination and it’s an idea that we felt the high school kids could get behind and master,” as described by Andrew Johnstone, founder of the Big Picture Arts Program. He continues:“Through Big Picture Arts Project, I work with high school students who have previously been in trouble for graffiti and teach them how to express themselves through art instead of defacing property. This mural will captivate the idea of a child’s innocence and the idea that something so vast and majestic can be born from something as simple as a bubble wand.”
The mural project was completed at Johnstone’s studio, American Steel Studio in West Oakland and then pieced together and hung in Downtown San Leandro on June 28th 2017. The 16-foot by 4-foot mural was created out of hydrotek panels oil primed and painted using acrylic with an acrylic clearcoat UV blocker.