Despite being covered by a tarp for more than a year, the mural in the L Quad at De Anza College is still deteriorating and in need of repair. With the tarp removed, direct exposure to sunlight and moisture has caused bubbling and cracking in the paint and thin impressions now run up and down the face of the mural.
A conference was held on Sept. 29 in the Hinson Campus Center to attempt to come up with a solution to the problem. Among those attending were Student Body President Terell Sterling, college administrators and students, and contractor Erik White, who has proposed hiring professional contractors to repair the damages.
The Art on Campus Committee contacted White to make a proposal to restore the mural, which includes repainting the areas that have become exposed and covering the entire mural with a varnish that can protect it against ultraviolet light and water damage.
John Milton, an English instructor at De Anza, is a strong advocate of the mural’s preservation and a vocal critic of the college’s negligence in caring for it.
“That work of art records the history and prophecy of the soul of the finest two-year school in the history of the world,” said Milton, “and it’s disintegrating in front of our eyes because we do not care to see the truth.”
Another of the proposed plans is to remove the mural from L Quad and move it to an indoor location to be restored there and placed on permanent display.
Some view the relocation idea as the best alternative to trying to preserve the mural in its present location.
“There is no point in keeping it in the environment that could destroy it,” said Sterling, who thinks keeping the mural where it is would be a waste of resources and would end with its eventual destruction.
Regardless of the plan of action, the Art on Campus Committee is requesting $9,000 funding from the Foothill-De Anza District for the restoration project.
A vote on the restoration proposals was postponed due to the absence of Eugene Rodriguez, a De Anza art instructor who was in charge of the original painting of the mural.
De Anza students completed the mural in 2001 and it was on display until it was covered during the winter quarter of 2007 to prevent weather damage.