All around campus, Venice High students have the opportunity to view works of art portrayed on the walls of the school. On April 16, senior Athena Koon ventured beyond the borders of Venice High’s walls to portray her own vision of Venice by painting a mural on the walls of a local cafe, Deus Ex Machina, on the corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevard.
An art contest was held by the Boys and Girls Club on May 2016. Many student artists had the chance to paint an image on what Venice High and it’s community meant to them. The theme was “We are Venice.” Although many art pieces were submitted, only one caught the attention of the judges and earned first place.
Koon’s art piece reflected the theme of the Venice community in a creative and fresh way. Her work of art featured a diverse group of people who have different talents but come together to become a collective Venice family.
“The mural contest was about the theme of Venice and I wanted to use all of its landmarks,” said Koon.
Her mural demonstrates the community’s love for skateboarding, shopping and the Venice Boardwalk.
Due to winning first place and a $200 cash price, Koon was given the chance to feature her painting as a mural on the walls of the school.
The Boys and Girls club staff couldn’t find a place to put her mural on campus due to all of the construction. Olivia Mariapen, the school site coordinator of the Boys and Girls club, and Lalo Marquez, the art director of the Boys and Girls club, sorted everything out and found the Deus Ex Machina cafe so that Koon’s art piece could be highlighted.
“We couldn’t find space due to the construction plans, so we were going to find a community space,” said Mariapen. “We wanted a space that was convenient for the kids and I’m excited to paint this with the students. … This is Athena’s last year, so it’s like a graduation gift.”
A company known as Beautify Earth sponsored Koon’s work on the mural. They helped design the art on the wall by making outlines so that painting the mural could be fun and easy. Additionally, many of the art supplies were supplied by this company. Seniors were encouraged to participate in a bonding activity through artistic expression.
“I encourage other artists to enter their art because you’ll never know what you’ll get out of it,” said Koon. “My art is a part of the legacy of Venice.”