Written by Angelica Salas de Torres, Teacher at Elsie Allen High School

The MEChA Club and Art Department started collaborating last year to create a mural on campus that celebrates Elsie Allen, her Pomo heritage, lobo school spirit, and student diversity. The mural design incorporates Elsie Allen weaving a basket under a California native Oak tree, with our school mascot, the Lobo, sitting behind her. The flag ‘leaves’ on the Oak tree represents the diversity of our students’ nationalities. The mural will also incorporate Taylor Mountain and the Colgan Creek Waterway in the background. The reeds that Elsie Allen is using to weave her basket are native sedge plants found along Colgan Creek.

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the installation of the mural was halted last year. In an effort to get this project completed while apart this year, we reached out to ArtStart, a teen art program located in Southwest Santa Rosa, that specializes in creating murals/public art installations. ArtStart was thrilled to help us create and install the mural during distance learning! ArtStart will create mural kits that will go home to students. Each student will paint their portion of the mural safely at home, return their kits to school, and then the mural will be installed on campus in late May 2021!

A special thanks to the Foundation Club for generously donating a grant to see this mural come to fruition!