The year 2012 at the Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles started in the creative spirit with the launch of the Mural Project on January 27th. For three months students have been collaborating with “Create Now” (a local non-profit dedicated to the arts) and a noted muralist, Roger Dolin. Together they designed, created, and painted a large mural in the entrance way to the agency’s building in Lake View Terrace. The mural was completed in the last week of March, 2012.
Throughout the process, Roger Dolin of Mural Environments, taught a select group of the Academy’s residents who participated in the project about famous muralists and the principles of the art, such as the color wheel, measuring and ‘snapping’ lines on the wall, and the general knowledge of how to become a professional muralist.
The residents came up with a number of themes to be portrayed in the mural; however, their first design, focusing on portraying different characteristics of the three residential program units, Odyssey, Genesis and Amethyst, was considered too limited. Soon, one of the students had a new idea – of ‘Metamorphosis.’ His inspiration came from a realization that all of the residents ‘transition into something better and beautiful’ after they complete the program.
The mural features the metamorphosis of a butterfly from a cocoon to a fully grown insect with colorful wings, soaring over a flower garden and a cityscape embedded in the ‘Wings of Hope’ – an element borrowed from the Phoenix House logo.
The goal of the Mural Project is to ‘motivate students to continue their substance abuse treatment program; enhance youths’ self-esteem and confidence through a fun artistic activity that is also therapeutic, teach valuable lessons in visual arts, such as composition, color hues, blending, shading, brush strokes and fine arts techniques; provide students with Job Readiness skills and tools to help them find employment when they leave Phoenix House ;create a magnificent painting at the entrance of Phoenix House that will inspire thousands of people for years to come.
Below there is a series of photos taken during the time when the mural was being painted and grew from a white wall to a colorful and inspiring image.