Jordan Mural Honors 74 Fallen Heroes

Funds allocated by the Long Beach City Council have enabled the Public Corporation for the Arts to commission major projects in areas of the city where there was previously very little public art. One of these projects, the Houghton Park tile mural project titled "Jordan High Remembers Our Fallen Heroes," by artist Tom Barter, was just completed. The 225-square-foot tile mural is located on the exterior wall of the Jordan High School auditorium. The colorful mural honors 74 graduates of Jordan High who paid the ultimate price in service to their country. Barter worked closely with Jordan High Visual Art and Design magnet students and their instructors Tim DeGreif, lead teacher, and Holly Coar, Visual Art Department chair. Barter led more than 20 sessions with students to explore tile murals as an art form, research the subject and design the mural. The students, in turn, hand crafted, painted, glazed and fired more than 1,000 tiles for the complex mural. The mural features three images--conceived by students as defining moments in the nation and the school’s history. It includes a reproduction of the bronze statues at the apex of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, D.C., the B-17 Flying Fortress named "Jordan High School," purchased with war bonds sold by Jordan High School students in 1942, and firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero where the World Trade Center once stood. A tile border of red, white and blue stars surrounds the names of the 74 Jordan graduates who fought and died for their country in every major conflict from World War II to the present. Jordan students who helped design and fabricate the mural received internship credit through the school district’s School-to-Career program.