Huntington artist Efren Andaluz III has created a deeply colorful mural for Walt Whitman High School that depicts scenes of countries around the world and features Mexican artist Frida Kahlo as the Statue of Liberty.
“When I was coming up with the idea, I thought of something that spoke true to New York but also America as a whole,” Andaluz, a 2006 Whitman graduate, said. “I love painting the Statue of Liberty, and Frida is the epitome of feminism as well as being Latina. I wanted to showcase the Latino culture while also including different cultures and monuments to show unity.”
Andaluz, whose colorful murals can be seen around Huntington, also created a well-known mural of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all of the victims of the tragic helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. The mural is on display in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The floor-to-ceiling mural fills a wall in a stairwell near the school’s performing arts center.
The work was commissiioned in collaboration with the Walt Whitman High School World Language and Art Departments, South Huntington Educational Foundation (SHEF), Miles for Michael, and the Whitman PTA.
“The mural was inspired by the diversity within our South Huntington community,” said Aileen D’Addario, Whitman’s World Language Honor Society adviser. “It represents the French, Italian, and Spanish languages that are taught at Whitman as well as other cultures from around the world. The goal
was to also connect the World Language and Art hallways together by including a famous Latina artist in the work. We hope it conveys the message of freedom, equality, hope, acceptance, peace, and unity that is the foundation of our incredible nation.”