Early Collaborative Public Art Projects

The Family Room (1992), site-specific installation involving over 1,000 children and youth. This installation explored the needs of children and youth pertaining to the family structure, both nuclear and extended. Part of the exhibition, The Fourth R, Art and the Needs of Children and Youth, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Building a Rainforest (1993), public art mural involving over 130 sixth graders. This semi-abstract mural depicts the devastation and preservation of a rainforest. This was done in collaboration with artist Vi Ly. Part of the exhibition, Reconstructing Nature, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


The Welcome Arch (1994), public art sculpture involving over 800 elementary students. This 10 foot tall freestanding arch examines, through children's eyes, different ways that people extend welcomes from simple smiles to offerings of tea and wishes for continuing good fortune. One child drew a picture of the sun because, "The sun shines on everybody without prejudice." Part of the exhibition, Coming Across, Art by Recent Immigrants Part 1, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


We Remember (1995), a public art mosaic involving over 600 elementary students. This project focused on the communication of memories and traditions from different cultures and generations, and also involved storyteller Grace Wakamatsu-Fleming. The children created miniature bas-relief sculptures, which were assembled into a mosaic/mural. A traditional Zapotec Mexican story was presented as well as the book How my Family Lives in America. Part of the exhibition, Changing Threads: Creating Traditions and Memories, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Drawing Together (1996), a public art piece involving over 300 elementary school students. Euphrat staff collaborated with storyteller Megumi to create a story about a child's imaginary journey into the heart. Using this story and visual examples, the children created their own visions of compassion combining representational and abstract imagery. Photos of each child were incorporated into each piece to represent living with compassion for oneself as well as for others. The final works were collaged together in the form of a human heart. Part of the exhibition, Heartwork/Creating Something Together, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Recycling Installation (1997), an installation in which children created a garden of plant and vine-like sculptures made out of recycled parts. They were installed in a setting reminiscent of an abandoned lot with a portion of an old fence, dirt, and rocks.


Our Watersheds (1998), a collaborative installation involved over 200 children from the Cupertino, Sunnyvale, and Los Altos School Districts. The students learned about and depicted the animals and plants native to our watershed area. The installation included layered drawings on colored translucent acetate displayed on glass. When lit, the piece cast watery blue-green shadows and images of the native animals and plants. Part of the exhibition, Watersheds, Waterwebs, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Health is Wealth (1999), collaborative artbooks involved over 200 elementary school students. The children addressed themes related to health and healing. Part of the exhibition, To Your Health, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Honoring Maestrapeace (2000), a mixed-media collaborative installation involved over 250 children from the Cupertino, Sunnyvale, and Los Altos School Districts. The fabric panels and sculptures in the installation were inspired by textiles and images of women from different countries and cultures as seen in the Maestrapeace murals covering the Women's Building in San Francisco. Part of the exhibition, Maestrapeace Art Works, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Mapping the New California (2001), a collaborative mixed-media project involved over 250 children from the Cupertino Union and Sunnyvale School Districts. The children used photographs, collage, drawings, and text to map their family's immigration paths to California. Part of the exhibition, Angel Island and Immigration Stories of the 20th and 21st Centuries: Drama, Contradictions, New Neighbors, Coalitions, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Sharing and Friendship (2001), a tile mural project permanently installed in the outdoor pre-school area at the Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino. 100 Cupertino area elementary and middle school children created bas-relief tiles related to the themes of friendship and sharing, concepts that are necessary for young children to learn in order for them to foster the values of respect, cooperation, caring, and creativity. These values will help to create and sustain a healthy thriving city or community. Co-sponsored by the Cupertino Fine Arts Commission and the City of Cupertino.


Teraqua's Journey (2002), a mixed-media project involved over 200 children from the Cupertino Union and Sunnyvale School Districts. The children contributed collages, drawings, miniature sculptures, and text to this collaborative storytelling game. Part of the exhibition, Magician's Day Off and Other Stories, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Stevens Creek, Naturally (2003), a collaborative installation involved over 200 elementary and middle school students. The students created sculptures inspired by some of the insects, plants, and animals native to our local riparian environment, using natural and found materials such as seedpods, dried plant materials, and recycled computer parts. Part of the exhibition, ReThinking Nature, at the Euphrat Museum of Art.


Fair Housing for All (2004 and 2005), a series of collaborative projects, including a large-scale folding book, a mixed-media sculpture, a polymer clay assemblage, and a large-scale group block print with interactive elements. Children from the Cupertino Union and Sunnyvale School Districts learned about the Fair Housing Act and discussed the importance of these laws. Sunnyvale students in the Euphrat's After-School Art Program created the cover illustration for the City of Sunnyvale's 2005 - 2010 Consolidated Plan. The project was created for a Fair Housing Month Poster Contest sponsored by Project Sentinel.


Endless Space/Boundless (2004-2005), a mural project at Braly Elementary School. Braly students participated in a drawing contest and the winning drawings were used to create a composite design. Three De Anza art students, with additional guidance from the Euphrat Museum of Art, designed and painted the final mural. Included ribbon-cutting ceremony with Santa Clara Unified School District Superintendent Rod Adams, Sunnyvale Arts Commission Chair Monica Draganowski, and others.


Heda's Sonata (2004-2005), a mural in Quinlan Community Center. The Center's Recreation Coordinator invited the Euphrat to create a mural for its new Music Center. The project involved one De Anza art student and two Monte Vista High School art students. The mural was painted as a community service and thank-you to the Community Center for our ongoing partnership. The mural is dedicated to Heda Stern, a concert pianist and music teacher who survived the holocaust in Europe and lived to 98. The opening lines from her favorite sonata float across a vast sky and recede into the clouds. Music Center students are encouraged to learn and identify the melody, dynamics, and notes depicted.


Feliz Año Nuevo de Luna (Happy Lunar New Year) (2006), a series of art projects celebrating Lunar New Year and crossing cultures. Elementary school students worked with four Euphrat Artist/Teachers and four De Anza student interns. The collaborative projects included a larger than life dog sculpture (Year of the Dog), a large Feliz Año Nuevo de Luna (Happy Lunar New Year) sign, and smaller Happy New Year signs in over twenty different languages. These projects were displayed in the Lunar New Year Unity Parade and in the International Fair that followed.


Art, Culture, Action (2007)
The Euphrat Museum, in conjunction with its Arts & Schools Program, is working on a series of interrelated collaborative public art projects with a focus on visual art, physical fitness, and cultural awareness. Collaborators include guest artists, Euphrat Artist/Teachers, De Anza students, community groups, and elementary school students.

School assembly from a distance. Students watch artist on low stage.

Artist assembly at Nimitz School through the Euphrat Museum of Art's Arts & Schools Program. Chike Nwoffiah, Director of Oriki Theater, presented two West African dance and drumming assemblies at Nimitz Elementary School.

Artist talks with a group of students at their tables, ready to create art.

Euphrat Museum of Art's Arts & Schools Program. After the Oriki Theater assemblies, guest artist Corinne Okada Takara, a recent Cupertino Artist of the Year, worked with a group of Nimitz students to create West African-inspired figurative and pattern stamps.

Two students creating art at a table in a sunny outdoor setting.

Giant Chinese Good Fortune Frog. Euphrat Museum of Art's 2007 Lunar New Year Unity Parade and International Fair booth.

Life-size Dance of Life Prints
Guest artists from Oriki Theater presented two West African dance and drumming assemblies at Nimitz Elementary School teaching the children how to do the Dance of Life from Ghana. Images of a girl and boy dancing at the assemblies were used to create large-scale silhouette templates. Guest artist Corinne Takara, a recent Cupertino Artist of the Year, worked with a group of Nimitz students to create West African-inspired figurative and pattern stamps. The children printed their images inside the templates to create two large-scale collaborative prints. These will be displayed at the 2007 Lunar New Year Unity Parade and International Fair in March, the Cherry Blossom Festival in April, and at the Sunnyvale Creative Arts Center in May in conjunction with Hands-on-the-Arts.

Art and Action Posters
Students in the Euphrat's free-of-charge after-school art classes in Sunnyvale will create collaborative posters promoting National Arts & Humanities Month and National Parks and Recreation Month.

Zuni Pueblo Dance - Braly Elementary School
Inspired by a comic-style graphic story by Keith Knight about the Zuni Pueblo people of New Mexico and how they are improving the health and pride of their community by re-introducing Zuni dance, art, and culture to the children. Students will do a hands-on project related to Zuni art and comic-style drawing with a focus on action poses and character rotations. Their drawings will then be used to create a collaborative poster.

Soccer Moves - Nimitz Elementary School
A soccer-inspired unit on how to create figurative sculptures in active poses. Students will use digital cameras to capture images of their fellow students practicing the soccer moves and those will be combined with images of the sculptures to create a collaborative photo-collage poster.

Chinese-brush Dancing Animals - Lakewood Elementary School
Inspired by master Chinese brush painting, particularly how to brush paint a series of dancing animals. Students will work together to brush paint a large poster.

Sports Action Figures - Fairwood and San Miguel Elementary Schools
Students create a series of sports-based figurative drawings, which they will then use to create a composite collaborative poster.

Chinese Dance and Chinese- and Indonesian-inspired Shadow Puppets
Guest artist Yong Yao, director of Yao Yong Dance, will visit one of the Nimitz after-school art classes and teach the students a traditional Chinese dance. Students will take turns doing quick gestural sketches of each other dancing and then use these as references to create Chinese- and Indonesian-inspired shadow puppets.



Collaborations in 2007-2008

Building Together (2007-2008), collaborative public art project for construction fence for the new Euphrat Museum of Art, part of the new Visual and Performing Arts Center complex. This student/community art project celebrates the new Euphrat as a lively and unique campus/community partnership.

Some art panels incorporate reproductions of artwork by De Anza students and by children from the Euphrat's Arts & Schools Program, in particular faces and their hopes/dreams. These are our current and future students, artists, performers, and audiences.

In spring Greeting Thaumatropes will be incorporated, offering animated greetings in different languages, coming from the Euphrat Arts & Schools Program. Project sponsors included the Institute for Community and Civic Engagement and the Lunar New Year Unity Parade Committee. Guest Artists Corrine Okada, Francisco Garcia, Janet Leong Malan, and Qing Yang. De Anza students and Euphrat student interns. Students from Cupertino and Sunnyvale schools.

Multiple artworks on chain-link fence at construction site for new Euphrat. Some are large flowers.

Other art panels incorporate artwork De Anza students created for the Euphrat art stations at the Institute for Community and Civic Engagement's Urban Arts & Hip Hop Festival. The graffiti-style words and phrases are inspired by different social justice movements. A focus for the new Euphrat Museum is an expanded reach into art and civic engagement and community art education. In March in conjunction with Women's History Month and the Euphrat's Art & Leadership presentations, artist/activist Favianna Rodriguez visited De Anza to speak about her work. She invited students to write a sentence about how art can help encourage civic dialog and participation. These were also added to the fence.

Artist Rodriguez attaches small artwork to chain-link fence surrounding construction site for new Euphrat Museum.

Favianna Rodriguez

Mural that says Hip Hop.

Participation in "Urban Arts and Hip-Hop Festival"
November 15, 2007, 12-3, De Anza College Main Quad
Art booth focused on Civic Engagement and Graffiti-Style Writing.

Close up of sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos.



Participation in "Dia de los Muertos Altars at De Anza"
October 31-November 21, 2007






Collaborations in 2008-09

The New Euphrat Museum of Art: We have had a busy, exciting year as campus and community collaborated in the expansion, planning, and implementation of the new building. Working with the larger Visual and Performance Art Center Committee and additional consultants and contractors, we created an inviting space for exhibitions and for campus/community projects. We also worked with the De Anza administration, Euphrat Museum Council, Foothill-De Anza Foundation, Creative Arts Division, and others in planning, funding, outreach, and outfitting the new space; these efforts will continue into 2010.

Inaugural events included a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the new Euphrat Museum of Art and a Donor Appreciation Event with multiple partners. The Euphrat Executive Committee and Council developed a Euphrat logo pin for major donors, helped develop marketing plans, including Euphrat promotional slides, gave presentations, and planned the Honoring Reception for Paul Hau. Through the various collaborations, a range of documentary and educational videos were developed on the inaugural exhibition, such as the ones on Paul Hau and Charisse Domingo. Ongoing collaborations occurred in the Come On Down! project space as well (see exhibitions).

Campus collaborations included Voting and Civic Engagement art and design projects by De Anza students that focused on voting and civic engagement, which was displayed in the Student Council Chambers and at voting booths during mock elections. We participated in the Global Warming Solutions conference in collaboration with the Wise37 Club and the Envi-Able group. We also held Community Service Learning Projects with students from a 1st Year Experience class and with EWRT1A students.

Community collaborations included the Cupertino Fall Festival, a hands-on art booth, an ongoing collaborative art project, and a Cherry Blossom Festival presentation. We held Euphrat/De Anza Art Days for elementary schools with hands-on art activities, including first-time bilingual exhibition tours in Mandarin and English, part of a larger project that included artists, community members, Mandarin-immersion and art history students.

Campus/Community collaboration featured Recycle Reuse, a yearlong collaborative mosaic made from recycled materials by elementary school students, De Anza art students, and Euphrat Museum student interns working with Euphrat Artist/Teachers.



Collaborations in 2009-10

Working with At-Risk Youth
The Euphrat Museum’s ongoing commitment to at-risk youth has multiple components, including the Summer Bridge Program for foster youth at De Anza, in which Santa Clara County high school students created (Super)heroes. Working with Euphrat staff, they examined qualities of heroism in their own lives and in the lives of those around them. They built powerful mixed-media art pieces, using words, poetry, images, paint, and sections of recycled doors. Multiple partners were involved in this month-long program, community reception, and exhibition, including: De Anza Summer Bridge Program, Euphrat Museum of Art, Silicon Valley Children’s Fund, Santa Clara County Office of Education, Foster Youth Services; Santa Clara County Social Services Agency, Department of Family and Children Services; East Side Union High School District.

Our Community Arts Mentorship Initiative (2009-10) engages De Anza College and the community through the Euphrat exhibition program, campus outreach, and Arts & Schools Program. Funded by a Donor Circle Grant to the Euphrat from The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Initiative involves bringing together consultants such as photographer/educator/activist Abe Menor and visual artists/arts educators Lydia Sanchez and Corinne Okada to explore ways to engage youth. Projects, based on lesson plans that draw upon the art in the current exhibit, In Between/ The Tension and Attraction of Difference, have been developed with Columbia Middle School, Nimitz Elementary School, and De Anza interns. The Mentorship Initiative was integrally connected with our new School Recess Camp. These camps take place during winter and other school breaks, and serve students at several Title 1 schools. Mentorship Initiative Workshops include the following:

  • Falling and Flying artist books: This project involved Columbia Middle School students and multiple partners. Working in the Euphrat Museum during winter break (Euphrat School Recess Camp/Columbia Beyond the Bell Winter Camp), students created artist books inspired by Penny Nii’s artist books in the In Between exhibition. Euphrat staff, consultants, and De Anza students (Puente and Honors Program) guided their process. (Read more about Camp program, of which this project was a part.)
Art with child's face, blue background, and words 'when I'm blue I feel like I'm under water.'

Sample student art project. This was inspired by collaboration artworks "Paintographs" by Abe Menor and Sean Boyles.

  • Dichos y Bichos/ Buzzings of Family Sayings: In workshops at Nimitz Elementary School, students examined their strengths and also their individual and collective voices in order to enhance their confidence and personal leadership skills. Sam Hernandez’s giant Dichos y Bichos (sayings and critters) on exhibit was the jumping off point for the students to examine family and common cultural wisdom sayings.

    Collaborators/funders for the Initiative projects include: Columbia Middle School, Columbia Neighborhood Center, Nimitz Elementary School, Euphrat Museum of Art, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Arts Council Silicon Valley, De Anza Student Body, Alicia Cortez’s Puente class, Vernon Gallegos’s Hip Hop class, De Anza Honors Club, De Anza Urban D.R.I.P. Club, and Homestead High School’s National Art Honor Society.

    For additional information on the Mentorship Initiative, see also Okada’s blog.

Our Sunnyvale Community: Growth and Unity, collaborative public art project, was part of our School Recess Camp program, this time connecting with Columbia Neighborhood Center's spring break camp. The mural in nearby Fair Oaks Park explores aspects of community. Several Columbia Middle School students, who were part of the Euphrat’s winter-break camp, participated in the mural project lead by Euphrat Museum of Art staff with De Anza College student interns. The Columbia students served as mentors to the younger children (ages 6 - 10), putting into action the leadership skills they reflected on during the winter-break camp.

Collaborators/funders include: Columbia Neighborhood Center, Euphrat Museum of Art, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Arts Council Silicon Valley, City of Sunnyvale's Department of Community Services, Fair Oaks Park staff, with two Fremont High School students, and nine De Anza student interns including members of D.A.R.E. (De Anza Restoring Education) and the Honors Club.

Group photo of Euphrat visiting delegation in Taiwan with Distinguished Citizens Society International.

A Taiwan trip/collaboration sponsored by the Distinguished Citizens Society International (DCSI) was an exciting treat for the Euphrat this fall. DCSI helps kids in need in Taiwan; they also provide libraries around the country. The group, which began in Taiwan and is headquartered there, has a Silicon Valley chapter, of which Lily Lin is 2009 President. At DCSISV’s invitation, Director Jan Rindfleisch, San Jose Mercury News writer Joe Rodriguez, and artist Consuelo Underwood accompanied Lily Lin to Taiwan to visit art museums and universities. As a Euphrat Museum Visiting Delegation, we discussed the possibility of a future collaborative project with DCSISV, such as an event or program or artist/exchange, which will benefit young children and our respective communities. This is part of the Euphrat’s greater community building effort, as we connect our local community with a wider global network.



Collaborations in 2010-11

The Euphrat Multidisciplinary Arts Summer Bridge Project for Foster Youth, in conjunction with the Anza Summer Bridge Program for Foster Youth 2010, brings together artists, college, and community resources, and works closely with Donna Fung, Director of the Summer Bridge Program for Foster Youth.

  • Exhibition: Self Portrait, Capturing the Moment. The project involved black-and-white photographic self-portraits of youth and/or their environments, with words written relating to their "future, goals, accomplishments, challenges, life, you." There was also discussion of documentary photography and De Anza student activism that combines art, political science, and journalism, such as participating in marches to promote access to quality education and working on the DARE exhibition.
  • Mural Project: Community Mapping Mural. Using paint, markers, and pastels on paper, students created a mural map of resources to achieve their goals. The mural took the form of a Game Board with game pieces, with long-term goals at the finish line. Goals included a "bucket list": "One day I will do this… see this…"
  • Performance Art (8/4/10): Student Arts Performance: Singing/Rapping/ Poetry/DJ. This project integrated the arts in performance and included public speaking as well as presentation. Youth Performers: Joe B., Taylor P., Marcrise P., Lewis T., Jasmine V., Ashley W., Nay Nay.

"Is this the future? Is this the past? Or is it the present? This window watches as life goes by, like a portal into another world. What do you see when you look through the window?"Justin L.

"They say words don’t hurt, but some words hurt the most."Ashley

"My life may be tough, but I will conquer the world around me and the goals for my life: love, freedom, unique, invincible, creative, power."Joseph

Multiple partners were involved in this six-week program, community reception, and exhibition, including: De Anza Summer Bridge Program for Foster Youth, Euphrat Museum of Art, Silicon Valley Children’s Fund, Santa Clara County Office of Education, Foster Youth Services; Santa Clara County Social Services Agency, Department of Family and Children Services; and East Side Union High School District.

The Euphrat Multidisciplinary Arts Summer Bridge Project for Foster Youth is part of our Community Arts Mentorship Initiative: Working with At-Risk Youth (2010-11), which engages De Anza College and the community through the Euphrat’s exhibition programming, outreach, and the Arts & Schools Program. Through the initiative, art projects tie into community, cultural wealth mapping, documentary photography, and more. The focus is on personal reflection, college and community resources, relationships and problem solving, teamwork and leadership skills.

Mentoring is multidirectional as we learn from each other – consultants, staff, teachers, interns, and students of different ages. Goals go beyond developing creativity, expression, and art skills to advancing individual growth, leadership opportunities, community interaction, visibility and the ability to adapt to changing needs. The Community Arts Mentorship Initiative has been nurtured by a Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Donor Circle Grant.



Collaborations in 2011

Learn to Play Too and Columbia Middle School Winter Break Camp at the Euphrat, February 22-25. Guest artist Susana Ruiz presented her work and game-making activities to middle school students partaking in an art camp at the Euphrat based on game development. De Anza video student Keith Hubbard made a short video of the activities and showed it the same day. Selected art games from the middle school students have been exhibited in March/April in our Come on Down! project area.

Guest artist: Susana Ruiz, University of Southern California's Interactive Media Division. Ruiz and Take Action Games create socially conscious games, such as Finding Zoe and Dying in Darfur.

Students worked in the Euphrat Museum during their Beyond the Bell Winter Camp (week-long, daily, during winter break), creating art games inspired by the Learn to Play Too exhibition.

Euphrat staff, consultants, and De Anza students (Puente and other students gave presentations) guided their process.

Collaborators/funders for the Community Arts Mentorship Initiative projects include: Columbia Middle School, Columbia Neighborhood Center, Euphrat Museum of Art, Silicon Valley Community Foundation Donors Circle for the Arts, Arts Council Silicon Valley, De Anza Student Body, Alicia Cortez’s Puente class, and Euphrat student interns.

Euphrat Museum of Art's Eco Art Station at the City of Cupertino's Earth Day Celebration, April 9, 2011

Graphic for Cupertino's 2011 Earth Day Festival with small image of world and two children
Earth Day 2011 participant
Sheet of logos of all the Earth Day sponsors including Euphrat.