Woodrow Wilson High School art students have been asked to paint a mural on the bridge near the intersection of the Santa Fe Trail and N. Brookside Drive.
The project is being led by Hollywood/Santa Monica neighbor Alex O’Neil, with help from Amanda Domaschk.
When it’s done, “Welcome to the Santa Fe Trail” will be colorfully painted on the side of the bridge. Each letter of “Santa Fe Trail” will have a different design.
Domaschk, who used to be on the board of Friends of the Santa Fe Trail, said neighbors have been talking for a long time about doing something with the bridge. There’s already a mural on the other side, but this side needed something, too.
O’Neil and Domaschk had collaborated on other projects in the past, so it was natural for them to work together on this one. The idea actually was floated around Woodrow’s art department a while ago, but the timing seemed right now, O’Neil said, with the progress being made on the trail master plan.
He had a contact at Woodrow in economics teacher Anthony Pace, who connected him with studio art teacher Jessica Raff. She has been coordinating with the International Baccalaureate students, who are taking charge of the project, and she’s planning for professional mural artists to visit her class to teach the students about creating murals.
Raff, who has been a teacher at Woodrow for several years, formulated the mural concept. But each student will be responsible for designing and painting one letter. The IB program requires that students complete service hours, and the students participating are using this opportunity to fulfill that requirement.
“Students are excited to share what they’re passionate about with this neighborhood,” Raff said.
Woodrow gave some funds needed for the project, and it was up to the community to provide the rest. O’Neil and Domaschk posted an Eventbrite link on social media one night and asked neighbors to support the project by sponsoring letters for $100 each. Within 12 hours, they had the $1,200 needed to purchase paint supplies.
Project organizers are working with District 14 Park and Recreation Board member Rudy Karimi to get City approval for the mural.
And eventually, when the mural is complete (they expect it to be finished sometime this spring), O’Neil and Domaschk want to invite the community to a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Domaschk said she and O’Neil want to see other murals done along the trail.
Editor’s note (Feb. 8): This story has been updated with additional information from Jessica Raff.