A partnership between artist Daniel Juarez ’15 and the North Street School Dual Language Program in Geneva, N.Y., has resulted in a mural that showcases the importance of diverse communities.
Juarez spent more than two years working with the program, including collaborating with fourth-grade dual language teacher Katherine Alvarez-Malave on the development of the mural, which highlights the importance of accessibility and being bilingual. Students were invited to take a survey about the piece, which resulted in a broader vision for the mural that emphasizes equity in communities across the nation.
Juarez, who earned a degree in studio art, noted that gaining perspective was crucial in the development of the project. “Listening and understanding — that’s how we began seeing the image of the mural, that’s how we began working together and bringing the school’s principal, superintendent, community members and HWS faculty on board with our project,” he says.
A true community endeavor, the mural was created with the help of volunteers from the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning and received funding for necessary materials from the Young Memorial Trust Fund.
The mural features public figures, such as Aerospace Engineer Mary Jackson, American Labor Leader Cesar Chavez and Dominican Sister Patria Mirabal, who, according to Juarez, “envisioned a better future for us all.” As a political artist, he believes recognizing those in one’s own community is “crucial. Having perspective is important and allows us to empathize with the voiceless.”
Juarez’s work in Geneva is complete, but he notes: “Where one project ends, [another] must begin.”