Canyon Crest Academy Foundation mural to be dedicated Nov. 17

Anyone who has visited Canyon Crest Academy in recent weeks has undoubtedly admired the newly installed mural of soaring mosaic ravens rising out of a sun above the Proscenium theatre.

CCA’s latest contribution to the effort to beautify its campus with art created by students is the school’s largest installation yet. On Monday, Nov. 17, the Canyon Crest Academy Foundation will celebrate its most generous donors when the mural is formally dedicated. The ceremony will honor 47 donors who gave at least $1,500 to the Ravens Challenge. A total of $201,000 was raised for the CCA Raven’s Fund this past year.

Among those expected to attend the dedication are County Supervisor Dave Roberts, SDUHSD Superintendent Rick Schmitt, and SDUHSD board members.

The concept for the mural was conceived and designed by Envision Visual Arts Conservatory students in spring 2014. Jessica Matthes, CCA sculpture teacher and EVA Conservatory coordinator, explained that the students discussed several different ideas, and voted on the one they liked best.

Senior Maya Lin-Bronner’s idea became the work of art. An EVA conservatory student, she got the idea when the students were prompted to design something that represented the school. “Being in conservatory, and staying late at school every day, I see the sunset from school.”

She said that the sun could be interpreted as either rising or setting, and that the ravens, which were made individually by EVA conservatory students, represent the different styles and personalities not just of the artists, but of all of the students at CCA.

“The fact that the ravens in the mural all come from the same colors as the sun represents, to me, the rising potential of all of the students.”

All of the EVA conservatory students contributed to the mural with the help of visiting Solana Beach artist Amber Irwin. Irwin, whose presence at CCA was funded by the Foundation, helped oversee the creation of the final piece over a two-month period.

Because each student worked individually on small sections of the installation, the impact of seeing it all together was enormous. “It’s so much bigger than it seems like it will be when everyone is working on all of the small pieces,” said sculpture teacher Matthes.

For Maya, the mural looks a lot like she imagined. “Even though the idea was mine, the project was very much a collaborative effort. It’s a nice representation of all of the students who worked on it.”

Matthes says coming to school is now a new experience. “I find myself looking up every time I walk in.”

The Canyon Crest Foundation is a parent-led 501(c)3 organization providing opportunities across academics, athletics, and the arts, and creating an environment where students can thrive. Donate online at