Corona Students Paint Their Way to a Safer Intersection

By Paul DeBenedetto on September 3, 2012 10:42am 

CORONA — Students and city officials unveiled a new mural on the wall of their Corona school on Friday aimed at curbing reckless driving near a busy Horace Harding Expressway service road.

The mural, designed by students at the High School for Arts and Business at 105-25 Horace Harding Expressway and Granger Street, is called "Yield in the Name of Creativity," and is as much an art project as it is a public service announcent, according to participants.

"We realized this neighborhood needs traffic awareness," said Yana Dimitrova, the lead artist for Groundswell, a community arts organization that helped plan the mural. "There needed to be something to say to drivers that there are students here, and to slow down."

The students' eleaborate design includes a young artist standing next to a person with a television for a head dressed in a suit, representing art and business. The business person is holding a magnet, attracting people and resources to the school, Dimitrova said.

There's also an eye watching over the intersection, and a sign in the upper left corner that says, "slow."

Drivers often speed through Corona as a "short cut," according to the Department of Transportation, who co-sponsored the event. The mural's unveiling comes less than two months after the DOT announcement that Corona would be one of 13 locations across the city selected for the implementation of "slow zones," areas where the speed limit is reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph.

"Safe and livable streets are at the heart of everything DOT does, and we thank these young artists for helping bring to life these important messages," DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in a statement.

Sixteen student artists collaborated on the project, including 16-year-old Ivonn Bernal, who was the primary designer of the two characters— the business person and the artist.

The project was exciting, Bernal said, because it gave her the opportunity to create art on a larger scale than she's used to.

"This is my first time doing a mural," Bernal said. "So it's really huge to me."

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