Ken Harrison 6:45 p.m., Aug. 23
Memorial Unveiled for Slain Chula Vista High Schooler
Last week at High Tech High Chula Vista, a team of students led by multimedia teacher Patrick Yurick held a ceremony to unveil a mural that's been installed in memory of former classmate Sean Fuchs, who was killed last June in a murder-suicide along with his brother, Kyle, and father, Thomas.
The mural is six aluminum panels, each of which was hand painted over the course of this past school year. The first panel features a portrait of Sean Fuchs, seated and playing his guitar. In the background, a black and white dystopian scene plays out. The only bright colors are on the boy himself and a wave of psychic energy that spills out of the guitar and across the following panels.
Reading like a comic book, the panels of the mural gradually see the nightmare background replaced by positive imagery in a sine wave of good vibrations that moves across the various scenes: a polluted river is made clean, peace comes to a war-torn African landscape, and a fouled beach is cared for by a volunteer. The mural culminates in a utopian vision of peace and prosperity.
According to Yurick, the concept is based on a poem that Sean wrote near the end of his life.
Yurick, who conceived of the plan as a way to memorialize the student with whom he had had a close relationship, recruited student volunteers and professional muralists from Chula Vista to execute the piece. All together, he estimates that up to four hundred people had a hand in painting the mural.
In addition to the painting, students and teachers terraformed what amounted to a drainage ditch in order to create a small park that beatifies the school grounds near the building's main entrance.
The mural is for public display on the school campus at 1945 Discovery Falls Drive in Chula Vista.