David Starr Jordan Middle School unveiled the mural History of Burbank, a collaboration between Jordan students and professional artist Henry Goods, on Monday, May 22. The expansive mural covers the entire back wall of the Cougar gymnasium and depicts scenes amd images recalling Burbank’s history.
Funded in part with a grant from the Burbank Arts For All Foundation, with donations of paint from two Burbank businesses – Catalina Paints and Bisordi Paint Company, the History of Burbank mural took shape under the leadership of parent Anne Askerneese and Assistant Principal April Weaver.
To begin the project, all 325 sixth-grade students researched the history of Burbank in their Social Studies classes.
Elaine Rosenberg from the Burbank Historical Society then visited Tamara Fiola’s Advanced Art class to talk about Burbank’s history. The Advanced Art students, in grades 6-8, then sketched out images to include in the mural. The students worked with Goods, painting the mural over a period of several days.
The mural includes scenes of farming, Dr. David Burbank, the Burbank canning industry, Moreland Trucking Co., Heavy Weight Champion boxer James Jefferies who raised prize winning cattle and whose historic farm was later moved to Knotts Berry Farm, the pumpkin-shaped hardware store, Lockheed, film/motion picture studios, Bob’s Big Boy, the Equestrian Center, the Airport, the Metro, Starlight Bowl and more, explained Askerneese.
“Although the mural depicts the wonderful History of Burbank, it is the students who worked on this project that represent our future,” commented Weaver. “They were hardworking and dedicated.”
“We are very proud to share this piece of art with the community, and would love to work with BAFA again to incorporate more art experiences into our classrooms.”
“Mr. Goods, Ms. Askernese and Ms. Fiola did an excellent job guiding the students through the process to create a student-centered learning experience,” Weaver added. “The students will remember this project for the rest of their lives.”
“This is the first mural at Jordan school that has been a collaboration between students and a professional muralist,” said Askerneese, who has assisted on other mural projects at other Burbank Unified school. “The mural has generated excitement on campus. It has inspired students to start new conversations about the history of our city.”
“The mural not only brightens our campus, but it reminds students that they are part of a unique community whose influence and achievements are felt across generations and across the world.”