Artist Ray Kinne and O'Farrell High School graduate Rhonda Harris talk about the public murals that are sending a positive message in the communities that make up Southeast San Diego. Gitzel Puente reports.
As part of an education campaign, O’Farrell Community School artist and educator Ray Kinne has created a public art display that can be seen in communities along southeast San Diego.
The oversized pictures featured at trolley stations portray high school students in graduation attire with their loved ones.
It’s an attempt at motivating high school students to graduate and pursue college.
For Kinne, this project was one year in the making.
“What we did is dressed [students] up in cap and gown and then we took photos of them, took media releases and told them you might see your face up on the walls of San Diego,” shared Kinne of his experience going out in the community and taking photos for the project.
He added that it’s more than just seeing someone’s face on the walls of San Diego.
“It sort of inspires kids to achieve better in school and in life,” said high school junior Felipe Diaz. “If this kid could do it, I can do it too.”
This is the type of message that Kinne wants to spread in the community.
The City Council helped make this public display possible by focusing on areas where graffiti is common and success is challenging.
“It fosters the idea of education excellence in the community, and you can talk about education in a lot of ways, and sometimes it’s just about showing it,” said Councilmember Tony Young from District Four.
Some of the spots that include these pictures are the 47th trolley station and Skyline Hills Recreational Center.
There are a total of 12 murals up right now, but Kinne says there are more to come.
They will be up for 60 days.