PCS Students Honor Inspirational People with their Street Paintings

Middle School Artists (top left image, from left to right): Ms. Weigand, Sarina Yang, Amy Yang, Magdiel Valente, Eliana Sabala, Marlaina MacDonald, Emmett Taylor, Katrina Waldmanwerth, and Amelia Hewitt (not pictured).
High School artists (top right image from left to right): Back row – Savahnna Anderson, alumni Pa Yang, Scarlet Gonzalez, and Kathrine Goncalves. Front row – Gerson Menjivar, Ms. Lee, Guadalupe Vargas, and Lori Morales.

Supplied with brightly colored chalk and preliminary designs that students had rendered to illustrate the theme “Be the Inspiration,” two groups of Middle and High School artists spent a Saturday in October working together at the site of the Providence Rotary Street Painting Festival.

The high school artists, under the direction of their teacher, Ms. Kelly Lee, rendered an 8×8 square drawing of the school’s long-time and hard-working custodian, Mr. Leonardo Cruz.  Not only does Mr. Cruz keep the building immaculate, but he also encourages all the students to respect the property as if it were their own. He also emphasizes the importance of education and challenges students to do their absolute best in their studies.  His portrait, which was completed on the surface of the Alex and Ani Skating Rink, was framed by quotes from the high school community saying how Mr. Cruz has inspired them and changed their lives for the better.

The portrait of Mr. Cruz received 3rd prize in the High School category and 1st place for best interpretation of the theme “Be the Inspiration,” which earned a $200 Rotary award for the High School’s art program.

Ms. Weigand’s middle school students created their own concept design. Their painting depicted a number of renowned inspirational leaders looking down upon a vignette of people helping people. The likenesses of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Gandhi and Sonia Sotomayor came to life as the students collaborated on the finished piece. The leaders’ expressions seemed to offer their blessing and extend kindness to each other.

The Middle School students’ rendering placed first in the category of Elementary and Middle Schools – earning a cash award of $100 for the Middle School Art Program.

The Street Painting Festival is one of several fundraisers of the Providence Rotary Charities Foundation, which awards $50,000 annually to local agencies serving children.