This summer the cafeteria at Oceanlake Elementary School in Lincoln City, along with many schools in the district, underwent maintenance and updates. The cafeteria at Oceanlake had been decorated with a large mural created in 2010 in a partnership with parents, students, and “Let There Be Arts” using an “under the sea” theme. This mural was removed in order to improve the safety flow of students moving in the cafeteria with directional signage and to keep the cafeteria clean.
It was difficult to maintain the painted mural after several years. The decision to remove the mural came from the District Office and Superintendent Tom Rinearson remarked, “We did a lot to preserve the memory of the original mural which was a moving tribute to the ocean community we live in. But we didn’t do enough to allow people to know of this change in advance. We were missing the human element and apologize to our school community.”
In the cafeteria itself, a large canvas commemorating the original mural has been mounted and in the lobby area there are 20 images of the creatures available for viewing. Photographer Sandy Mummy said “I attempted to capture all of the sea creatures individually as well as take multiple panoramas and a video. My hope was that the memory of the time invested in creating the mural could be treasured with anyone who wished to have photos or video as a keepsake along with the beautiful canvas mounted on the wall.”
The primary reasons for the change included difficulty maintaining the cleanliness and paint of the wall, the safety of directing the children in how to line up in line properly during time in cafeteria and a request from Sodexo (our food service vendor), among others.
In the future, more effort will be made to decommission artwork should that need arise again. Notice will be given in advance for all interested community members.