DMAE’s Public Art: Students Create Mural at Playa Bowls


Many aspiring artists dream of a chance to display their artistry. On November 26, 2019, after three months of meticulous dedication, Playa Bowls in Englewood premiered its new mural illustrated by students from both Dwight Morrow High School and Dwight Englewood School. 10% of Playa Bowls’ profits from the opening day went towards supporting local academic art programs. 

The collaborative force of local schools, Englewood Family League, and Playa Bowls initially presented this opportunity through a contest where students could submit work to be chosen for display. 

“For some of them, it was the biggest painting they had done,” DMAE art teacher Mauricio Rodriguez stated. “To show their good work and give some exposure and to be able to also work side by side with kids from another school is also cool,” Mr. Rodriguez explained.

I guess for most of them it was the biggest exposure they have had. It was definitely a confidence booster and a great opportunity to show off their talents.

— Mauricio Rodriguez

The mural came to be a reality thanks to the common vision of student artists and local groups wanting to give to the community. Omar Lopez, from Englewood Family League and Englewood Art Walls, initially contacted Dwight Morrow High School with the idea to bring more art into the community, to involve local schools, and for artists to be able to showcase their artwork in the spotlight. Moreover, an interior designer even suggested to Playa that the wall be decorated with a mural. The rest was history.

“For most of them, it was the biggest exposure they have had. It was definitely a confidence booster and a great opportunity to show off their talents,” Mr. Rodriguez remarked. “They also worked while customers were going in and out, which was a nice experience to work in front of people,” Mr. Rodriguez added. 

Four DMAE students entered the contest: Kenia Akridge, Melanie Bano, Kylie Mena, and Andrea Suria. Three of the winners graduated last June, but Kenia is a senior this year. Both Mr. Rodriquez and DMAE art teacher Grace Frangiosa guided them. Today, Kenia is proud of her public artwork at Playa Bowls.

 “I’m proud of doing something for the community. Every time I go there I feel great because I had the chance to contribute my art,” Kenia said. 

To support the ventures and artwork of DMAE’s art sector, follow @DMAEArts on Instagram.