On December 7, the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) office in Glendora unveiled six murals created by Azusa Pacific University Art 310 students. Jim Thompson, Ed.D., art professor in the Department of Art and Design, was commissioned to provide art for DCFS to bring color and cheer to its six interview and visitation rooms. “The rooms were furnished only with a table and chairs, and the addition of the murals creates a warm and welcoming environment,” said Monica Rivas, DCFS community and support worker.

The five murals, the most produced in a single semester by one of Thompson’s classes, measure four feet by seven feet. The depictions, derived from Thompson’s photos or his imagination, include a Monarch butterfly, the Grand Canyon, and Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, and several abstracts. The other project is a grid comprised of 20 11-by-14-inch canvas panels separated by 3-inch margins. These “mini-murals” present scenes and themes from children’s story books; among them are Winnie the Pooh, The Hungry Caterpillar, and The Alphabet Tree. Five to six students worked on each piece.

Glendora’s DCFS provides emergency response and continuing services to 1,750 children and their families. The organization strives to maintain family unity, reunite children with families in a timely manner, and appropriately terminate court jurisdiction.

“Our desire is that these murals will lift the spirits of the children DCFS serves,” said Thompson. “The project enabled my students to represent Christ and utilize their God-given talent and creativity to make a difference in the lives of these children.”