It initially started as four murals in ceramics to illustrate the fine and applied arts departments at American River College. Fine Arts, Culinary, Design and Film/Photography, and Theater and Music had murals depicting a story of each. An unfortunate kiln accident destroyed over half of that entire body of work. The pieces that remained were glazed then stored away for two years.
This summer Linda Gelfman and some help put together this mural. It's loosely based on a Hamsa which is symbolic of a hand of blessing in many religions. There are seven fingers, but Linda smiles and says we all need extra good fortune and good will.
Some parts from every original mural survive, and I like the idea of unity out of diversity that arises from this piece. Like the Phoenix, this art has emerged powerful and beautiful.
I did not glaze all the pieces I crafted, and no one of us was solely responsible for the tiles, but I did put a lot of work into some parts like the Tower Bridge, the student dining, the chefs at work and a portrait of Linda Gelfman.
Glazed ceramics last forever (well maybe some in fragments), but a long time as anyone who has ever walked through an ancient Greek ruin can attest.
There is something about that permanence that has me near tears when I think of how many people will pass by, going to classes or visiting the Kaneko Gallery and will see our art.
American River College has several student murals on campus from years past. I encourage you to visit the school and see this new work and those of past years. Each narrative is unique and beautiful.