Over last spring and summer, volunteer artist and Anaheim resident Janet Lee worked with the Shops at Anaheim Gardenwalk to create an innovative new program, featuring art in public places-in a shopping center! Janet worked tirelessly with volunteers from many organizations, including Assistance League, Anaheim Historical Society, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and others. Together they teamed up with school children in the summer camp programs, and local artists volunteering their time. Using donated materials, the artists created enormous murals, painted by the school kids, to be hung in the public spaces of the Anaheim GardenWalk. The murals depict Anaheim culture and history, based largely on Gail Eastman's children's book, Ana's Home by the River.
That project has now won a Gold Award in the ICSC Maxi Awards, recognizing innovative ideas in shopping center development. This is the only project of its kind in the world, but I suspect the idea will be picked up and taken elsewhere soon! They would do well to hire ball-of-energy Janet Lee to run future programs!
Good work and congratulations to Janet, the GardenWalk, and thanks to all of the artists, school kids, and organizations that gave time, energy, and resources to this project. The murals can be seen in the upper areas of the GardenWalk center, and are open to the public at no charge.