Temecula commemorates MLK Day with student artwork


TEMECULA, CA – A temporary public artwork created by a local student to celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and February’s Black History Month is now on display and will be officially unveiled by the city of Temecula at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The mural in Sam Hicks Monument Park (28300 Mercedes Street, Temecula) is part of the Student Art Mural Project which aims to support emerging artists by providing a space for them to showcase their work.

Each month, student artists have the opportunity, facilitated by Bigfoot Graphics, to create a mural on a variety of topics.

The King piece was created by 12-year-old artist AJ Pederson of Shivela Middle School in Murrieta, with input from Kaia Bo and Landon Stingle.

“I want this mural to inspire people of all ages to pick up a pencil and start drawing,” AJ said. “I am so grateful for this opportunity and the support of my parents and Bigfoot Art.”

AJ was asked to create a mural to celebrate Monday’s Martin Luther King Day and to support the Temecula Valley Museum’s Black American History Month celebrations in February.

The artwork features King as he delivers his most famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The moving speech on August 28, 1963, which drew thousands across the country , advocated for civil rights and called for an end to racism.

“So even as we face the challenges of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It’s a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will will lift and live the true meaning of his creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” King told the crowd. (Read the full transcript of the speech and listen to it here.)

In a released statement, City of Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn said, “Temecula celebrates the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with this mural. This exceptional piece of public art represents a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. [was] created by a remarkably talented 12-year-old student. We are delighted to celebrate their achievement and are proud to invite our community to celebrate this very important legacy. »

Local art students are invited to paint murals on canvas for monthly display at Sam Hicks Monument Park. The student art mural by AJ Pederson is now on display and will be officially unveiled at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 18. All are invited to attend the unveiling. The museum will also celebrate Black American History Month through free facts and crafts in the Temecula Valley Woman’s Club Art and Education Room. For more information, call 951-694-6450.


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