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The opening of the William V. Campbell Academic and Arts Center at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton has brought fresh opportunities for student artistic expression. SHP students arriving back on campus in January to start the new year were greeted by a life-sized mural of the devastating Australia bushfires displayed in the lobby, created entirely free hand — and constructed from painter’s tape.

The artists were students in Peggy O’Leary’s studio art classes, who designed the mural using real images from the Australian crisis as resource material. With no pre-sketching, students pinched, pulled, and manipulated the tape directly on the wall to achieve an outcome similar to a line drawing.

“My message to students is that they have the power and skills to make statements through art about any issue, using any media. I appreciate their willingness to help bring this particular message about the climate crisis to Sacred Heart in such an impactful way,” said O’Leary.

This is the second “tape mural” displayed so far this year; the first was crafted in November to honor the victims of the Saugus High School shooting in Santa Clarita.

“As a class we felt it was imperative to address and face such crises as they were unfolding,” said O’Leary.

Sophomores Grace Duncanson and Olivia Gibeau said the project helped them learn about the Australian fires in depth, and the images of “regular people helping the animals and putting out fires was motivating,” said Gibeau. “[The mural] is in a very trafficked place — it reminds people what’s going on.”

“Using art as a way to fight for some form of justice is really meaningful,” said Duncanson, “because art always has emotion in it, so it’s very impactful [messaging to help] the cause.”

The mural is temporary. “It will vanish as suddenly it appeared, at the end of this month,” said O’Leary.

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Prairie Rose Band performs in Menlo Park on Jan. 25

Enjoy live music as the Prairie Rose Band returns to Menlo Park on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm at the Belle Have Branch Library (413 Ivy Dr.). Prairie Rose promises a fun, toe-tapping, sing-along-if-you-like performance of songs you forgot you ever knew, and songs you never knew at all! The band’s wide-ranging […]

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Voter registration drive set for Jan. 25 at Menlo Park Library

The League of Women Voters will offer nonpartisan voter registration help at the Menlo Park Library on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm ahead of the Presidential Primary Election on March 3. Register to vote for the first time, or change your voter registration if you have moved, changed your name or […]

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Learn about the USGS’ role in space exploration on Jan. 23

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Guild Theatre project to impact traffic at El Camino Real/ Ravenswood Avenue this coming week and next

The Guild Theatre  project is currently under construction and a lane on El Camino Real and Ravenswood Avenue must be closed intermittently during construction. This lane closure is to provide access and space to maneuver equipment safely. During the weeks of January 20 and 27, southbound El Camino Real between Santa Cruz and Live Oak Avenues […]

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MPCSD and local non-profits present screening of documentary No Small Matter on Jan. 22

Menlo Park City School District has long recognized the importance of high quality early childhood education for all families, and has worked to bring more options to its community with the opening of its preschool, the Early Learning Center, in the fall of 2019. While the ELC reserves spots for lower income families, more needs […]

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“Voting in the Primaries: What you need to know” is topic on Jan. 18

The Presidential Primary Election is March 3. Get election information, including how procedures in San Mateo County have changed since the last Presidential election on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Menlo Park Library.  

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Free film screening at Art Ventures gallery on Jan. 17

The UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival) Cafe in conjunction with Menlo Park Public Art is presenting Can Art Stop a Bullet: William Kelly’s Big Picture on Friday, Jan. 17 at 6:00 pm. A description of the film is available online. The screening will take place at Art Ventures Gallery, 888 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, with a […]

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Two local teens from Troop 206 earn Eagle Scout status

Two local scouts — Kevin Box (above right) and Hazen Stribling (left) — received their Eagle award from Troop 206 at a Court of Honor held January 12, 2020 at Trinity Church in Menlo Park. Troop 206, first chartered by Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo Park in 1958, has advanced 187 scouts to Eagle rank in […]

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Find about about San Francisco’s public stairways on Jan. 15

Hundreds of public stairways traverse San Francisco’s 42 hills, exposing scenic vistas and linking colorful, diverse neighborhoods. Mary Burk, co-author of Stairway Walks in San Francisco: The Joy of Urban Exploring, will share some of the city’s well-known and clandestine corridors where you may encounter enchanting tidbits of architecture, history, pop culture, and horticulture at […]

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“Biased: How Unconscious Bias Shapes Behavior” is topic at Common Ground speaker series on Jan. 15

Stanford Professor Jennifer Eberhardt (pictured above left) will be in conversation with Julie Lythcott-Haims (right) to discuss implicit bias and how it impacts our society at the Common Ground speaker series on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7:00 pm at Sacred Heart Prep (150 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton). Eberhart offers a powerful exploration of how unconscious bias […]

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