- Letters to the Editor
- 705 views
Oh, no. That mural was a supreme example of how a good teacher can inspire her students to produce work above their reach.
The only public place we now can see Charlotte Troesch's work is the front lobby of Downey Regional Medical Center. The trustees wisely secured several of her achingly beautiful marble sculptures of grief and despair, which she then polished into the serenity of high art.
Her work lives in private collections. Perhaps we could have a retrospective display of her marbles, bronzes, drawing, carvings. I have several pieces of her wonderfully monumental jewelry.
But by allowing that 20-ft. mosaic on the public (Brookshire) side of Downey High School to be demolished, we in Downey are diminished by that much.
It is with great sadness that I write this letter.
Monday, a few hours after I had written a letter expressing the hope that our City Hall, who had been alerted more than a week earlier, would see to the rescue of the priceless Downey High (Viking) mural, the gift to the city by the collaboration of a remarkably talented Downey artist and teacher and her loving art students, I was saddened and dismayed to learn that the mural was allowed to be destroyed that very morning.
I was doubly saddened knowing that it was City Hall action or lack thereof that brought about the destruction of the mural. This City Hall action did more than bring about the destruction of an irreplaceable art piece and city treasure - it put to question the sincerity of City Hall when they profess support for the arts in Downey.
Smashing the DHS mosaic to make way for building renovations is outrageous.
As an art student (class of 1973) under the direction of Mrs. Troesch, I worked on the mosaic, "Civilization Through the Ages." The lead student and project manager was Cecilia Ballinger.
In addition to being a fantastic artist, Troesch loved her students, enhancing our interests with trips to art studios and museums. We even worked on the mural weekends when Troesch would supply hot dogs.
Often in lieu of students serving detention for tardiness, they were dispatched to the art room to cut glass tiles for the mural. Many of the tiles were expensive pieces and pieces were hand-cut by DHS students.
The destruction of this artistry and outstanding student project is a disgusting act. It could have been spared. Apparently "civilization through the ages" is dead in Downey.
Published: July 26, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 15