New Mural at Juvenile Hall

Feb 11, 2020

February 10, 2020 — Students at Juvenile Hall have been working for months on the second 29-foot long mural in the outdoor quad depicting nature scenes from Mendocino County.

They’re also re-creating the first 29-foot-long mural on a pair of panels that will be displayed at the libraries in Round Valley and Laytonville, so members of the public can enjoy them without traveling to Juvenile Hall in Ukiah. Local artist Danza Davis, who was also the lead artist on the original mural in 2018, has degrees in botany, studio art, and science illustration. For her, the project is as much about science as it is about art. 

The project is funded by Dean and Sharon Edell, the Community Foundation, and two grants through the Arts Council: JumpStarts and Get Art in the Schools Program. And the thirteen kids who were at the hall on Thursday afternoon were definitely at school. Aside from one sign declaring that hardcover books are not to be taken back to students’ rooms, the classroom where the unfinished panel lay on a table was like any other school room. A poster about Navajo math, a handmade storyboard about George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and notes about where to find supplies were all signs of an education in progress. That’s what Juvenile Hall Superintendent David Barrett strives for. 

But a significant difference between this school and others is that students only stay as long as they are sentenced, sometimes only for a few weeks. Back in that classroom, showing off a panel with a replica of the North County scene from the first mural, Davis spoke about how she hopes re-creating those images will also create a sense of connection among the various students who have worked on the project over the years.