From The Ponshop Studio and Gallery:
We are excited to announce the ribbon cutting ceremony for the recent community mural completed at Lafayette Elementary School in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The mural is a collaboration between Gabriel
Pons of PONSHOP and James Monroe High School senior Sophia Pineda. This is the third public mural that Ms. Pineda and Pons have accomplished together since 2021.
Titled “Life Cycles,” the 1,240 square foot mural adorns the school’s courtyard garden. The inspiration for the artwork came from the mural’s location: a garden plot that acts as both a visceral classroom for
students to literally get their hands dirty as well as a living diorama showing the lifecycles of the garden throughout the school year. The mural functions as both a landmark art piece as well as an instrument for instruction, prompting students to investigate the elements of the painting and ask questions.
The mural painting began in June of this year and was completed in October. Pons initiated the process by holding workshops with Sophia at his downtown studio. Like any creative endeavor, they brainstormed ideas focusing on the garden theme and created sketches showing the growth of plants from seed to flower. “Life Cycles” is now the largest public mural in the city of Fredericksburg and the mural team’s most ambitious to date.
Gabriel Pons: “Murals are a great way of community building. We’ve structured the mural sessions to accommodate a wide range of skill levels and experience working simultaneously. Volunteers ranged
from high school students through parents and teachers. The benefit of a large scale project like this is that it prompts participants to work together to create something much bigger than what one can achieve
on their own. Sophia has a knack for rallying the people around her for a project. It’s been reassuring to see many of her former teachers join in on this project.”
Sophia Pineda: “I love the colors! Gabe is the best mural teacher ever!” This project was made possible through the initiatives of Lafayette Elementary teacher, Emily Taylor, the Pineda Family (Sophiola) and Team Bayne/Pineda-Cary Street Partners. Special thanks to the all student volunteers that contributed to painting the mural from the hottest days of summer to the coolest days of
Team Sophiola: Carol and Andre Pineda, Sophia Pineda, Vicky Barrera
PONSHOP Assistants: Jeff Gulick, Dante Jenkins, Kath Loose, Gillian Hoback, Diego and Cairo Pons,
Fredericksburg Schools : Principal Courtney Wheeler, Emily Taylor, Tammy Hancock, Marylise Cobey, Heather Wright, Barbara Brown, and Casey Willging
Learn more about Sophia’s art HERE
Photos courtesy Gabe Pons