Students, community unite to paint “Art with HART” mural in Aiea

May 20, 2014 | PC Community


Student artists from Waipahu High School, Aiea High School, and Radford High School came together on Saturday, May 17, and Sunday May 18, to paint a mural with the theme and message of  “Connecting Communities” through the “Art to HART” beautification project sponsored by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

The students, teachers, and art directors, joined forces with community groups such as the Mana Loa-Nimitz Lions Club, Pearl City Lions Club, Pearl City Community Association, Pearl City Foundation, Boys and Girls Club Hale Pono Ewa Beach Clubhouse, Chinese Jaycees, along with the Aiea High School football team, and private companies such as Kiewit (who is constructing the guide ways for the rail line) to paint the 210 foot mural on a former strip mall store front located at 98-080 Kamehameha Highway in Aiea.

The property will become a future rail station on Kamehameha Highway near Pearl Ridge Center. The property was purchased by the city in 2012 and has become an eye sore with graffiti covering one end to the other before Saturday and Sunday’s mural painting pilot project beautified the area. HART hopes that the pilot project will expand into other communities along the rail line.

The students helped draft the mural art design and message in the weeks leading up to the actual mural painting. It was a collaborative effort between all parties involved that took many hours to reach last weekend’s painting marathon. Students worked well into the late evening hours on Sunday to complete the mural project. They worked hard and the end result is a true work of art that the community can be very proud of as they make their way past the property in Aiea.

Sean Egdamin, Art Director, "Art with HART" Mural Project 

"Today we're working with students from various high schools to create a public mural on behalf of the HART organization. This building here was tagged and a hot spot for taggers. What we would do was HART would come back and paint the building, and the taggers would come back. So it was an on and off thing. Finally, the residents behind here, and the business people were complaining to the city because the city owns the property, that they were not up keeping the property.  So what we decided to do was work with community organizations and high schools to create this public mural as a deterrent to the taggers, and at the same time beautify the community. This was student driven. HART was just here to provide support. My role in this project was to coordinate with the schools and the teachers to come up with the concept and the designs for the mural. Basically, we gave them a few guide lines, but overall design work was created by the students themselves. They had a lot of input with the art teachers. The art teachers really, really work well with the students. We also had brainstorming sessions before we came up with the concept. The components to the mural are, "Live, Work, Play, & Ride."

Gloria Jakahi, Drawing and Painting Teacher, Waipahu High School

"I'm very proud of the students. They worked very hard coming up with the design concept. The design idea kept changing because they had different ideas, so we had to reconvene and meet at lunch and after school for two weeks, every day. It was difficult getting the students together because a lot of them have final exams and they're involved in various clubs. One of them is the school counsel sophomore president, so it was difficult, but we kept brainstorming and redoing it. I thought that was a really good lesson in the real world to get them prepared for the real world. It's not just, I did the assignment, there you go. It's a lot of collaborating, getting different ideas, getting feedback. Sometimes it's not acceptable, or it needs to be tweaked a little bit and you go back to the drawing board and start again. We ended up with a stack about three inches tall of drafts. We tried to take a little bit of different student ideas and we came up with this. I'm just really proud of them. More than anything else, I don't do these kinds of things to showcase their art ability, but more their character. I wish the public could see what they're really like. They're very hard working. We had graduates come back from 2004, 2008, 2011, and 2013. The theme is community, but I think the Waipahu students really do have that in their heart. That more than anything, I wish people could see how sweet they are. I really love the students at Waipahu."

Angeline Jovn, Class President Sophomore Class Council, Waipahu High School

"I think it’s really great being here, just because we get to interact with one another and see everyone's perspective and interpretations of the themes that were presented to us. It's really great having the ability and this opportunity to just get connected and with everyone and that's pretty much what this mural project is saying, "connecting communities". I'm really proud, at first we were all apprehensive about this because the project was kind of introduced to us a little bit too suddenly and we had to keep making drafts and keep going. We finally had come to par with it, and just seeing it come to life, and all the teamwork and the support that we're getting from one another is really helpful. It's really satisfying seeing all of this come from our paper to the actual mural itself. It’s also really exciting hanging out and getting to know the other schools, as well as getting to see for ourselves what their art is like.  I think that's a big thing today, and just working with them and seeing how different perspectives kind of make a better art, like two lines is better than one. I want to thank Ms. Jakahi our teacher, because she introduced the whole project, and also to just everyone in Waipahu, even our principal (Mr. Keith Hayashi) who was very supportive of this project and Waipahu High School participating in it."

Congratulations to all the students and community volunteers who made the Art with HART pilot mural project a success. Your efforts will inspire others to come together, shoulder to shoulder, to beautify their communities with a renewed pride and special bond of unity.

A special mahalo to the youth from the Boys and Girls Club Hale Pono Ewa Beach Clubhouse for their hard work in helping out to improve and beautify the Aiea community!

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Sean Egdamin, Art Director, "Art with HART" Mural Project takes a break on Sunday for a quick pic.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Radford High School artists are pictured on Sunday standing in front of their section of the mural.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Radford High School artists are pictured back at work on the east end of the mural

on Sunday. The students talents truly shined on their portion of the completed mural that

also featured a surfer riding the perfect wave. The design was chosen as our cover photo.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Waipahu High School artists pose with HART Mural Project Art Director Sean Egdamin (far left),

and Waipahu High School  Drawing and Painting Teacher, Ms. Gloria Jakahi (center).

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Waipahu High School  Drawing and Painting Teacher, Ms. Gloria Jakahi is pictured with

Angeline Jovn, Artist and Class President, Sophomore Class Council, Waipahu High School.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Waipahu High School artists working together as a team on the mural project!

Please click on the photo gallery link below to view more of the student's mural artwork.