Students at Larchmont Charter High School were greeted with a new mural at their school today, thanks to efforts of elementary school mom Jocelyn Hayes. Working with L.A. based artist Cloe Hakakian and the team at Beautify Earth, Hayes was able to transform a drab wall into a celebration of the students at Larchmont Charter.
This is the second mural Hayes has worked on for the school. Several years ago she worked with another artist to paint a mural installed at Larchmont Charter’s elementary school on Fairfax Avenue where her twin boys are in the third grade. The team she worked with offered to help with another project, which got her started on this one for the high school.
Hayes, who has worked on the project throughout the COVID pandemic, told us the theme for the mural came from the students. When Hayes and artist Hakakian were thinking about what do, they talked to students. They asked students to pick one word to describe their school and what they were most proud of about their school. When all of them used the word “diversity,” they knew they had the concept for the mural.
Hakakain said she wanted to create something that would inspire the students, and be something that was visually exciting and brightens your mood, but she also wanted it to be meaningful to the students.
“The mural is really a celebration of their motto,” said Hakahain.
Admission to the school is conducted by a lottery. But according to the founding charter, approximately 40% of the students must qualify for free or reduced lunch. Hayes considers herself very lucky to be part of the Larchmont Charter community.
“We live in a huge metropolis of a city, rich with all of our wonderful cultures, where some of our populations and neighborhoods are thriving right next-door to others that are not,” said Hayes.
Hayes, who is now a designer, started her career as a teacher, where she saw first-hand how important it is for children to feel valued and worthy.
“We are living in unprecedented times, and we should seek out as much positivity as we can for these kids growing up right now. This is just one way of making sure our kids see a little more beauty each day,” said Hayes. “Let’s take care of – and inspire- one another…one smile (or mural!) at a time.”
And Hayes showed us some other blank walls on campus that she’s got her eyes on, too.
Cloe Hakakian’s design was executed in one day by volunteers from Gensler Architects and Beautify Earth. Thanks to Hayes for the photos of the work in progress.