By Dylan SYLVESTER
Sunflowers in Sunland – nothing is more appropriate. And it seems that artist Hannah Maximova agrees, as this beautiful symbol is what she chose to use as the subject for the stained glass mosaic titled “Every Bloom a Star,” a mural that has been constructed and installed at Sunland Elementary School.
Children returning to the school will find the 36-foot-long piece of art that was created as a beautification project for the school and recently dedicated to Sunland Elementary School teacher Eric Isabela. Isabela’s recent passing has left a hole in the hearts of the Sunland community. Artist Maximova said that the project could not have been completed without the help of the community, and was especially thankful to Debbie Middleton DeJong for so strongly contributing in the planning of the project.
Other Sunland residents were eager to give their time to help.
“Some days we had too many volunteers and not enough tools,” said Maximova with a smile on her face. She spoke of the parents involved, saying that they may have met through the school, but were now working side-by-side to make their community and their children’s school a better place.
The children were also very intrigued by the work being done on their school and were excited to watch the process unfold. Residents were not the only helpers involved, though. Sponsorship and support from Principal Lisa Dachs-Ornelas, City Council Member Felipe Fuentes, LAUSD Board Member Mónica Ratliff and Assembly Member Patty López was crucial in the creation of the mural. Home Depot, OSH, and Merithews Hardware were also very gracious in helping the artists obtain the supplies for the piece, said Maximova.
As far as the idea behind the mural, Maximova said she initially got the inspiration from a song that spoke of looking at a field of flowers and taking in the beauty of them all, different as they may be from each other.
“All children should be seen in this way,” she said.