Art from the Heart
Jose Damian Elementary parent paints mural to inspire students
Posted on 06/29/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Jose Damian Elementary parent paints mural to inspire studentsDaniel Hernandez was looking at the big picture when he decided to contribute his artistic talents by painting a large firebird mural at Jose Damian Elementary (JDE).

Hernandez is the father of two JDE students who inspired him to paint the mural at their campus. He wanted to make his kids proud every time they walked the halls of their campus and saw the mural but he also wanted all students to enjoy the piece of art and show them that you can make a career out of doing something you love like art and painting.

“My kids are my greatest motivators and I want them to be proud of the mural,” Hernandez said. “However, my kids will leave the campus and my mural will live on to hopefully fill all students and teachers with a sense of school spirit and inspire kids to pursue their talents and give back to the community in their own unique way.”

The JDE mural took him three days and a total of 24 hours to complete with help from his wife Cynthia Parra. He feels his time and effort were well worth the reaction his kids, staff, teachers and students had when the mural was complete.

“Our Firebird families have had nothing but amazing things to say about the mural, and used it as a backdrop for pictures after the end of the year awards ceremonies,” said JDE Principal Dr. AnaElisa Aranda. “People have mentioned the words, ‘powerful,’ ‘encouraging,’ ‘amazing,’ ‘astonishing,’ ‘life-like,’ among others, to describe the Firebird. The Hernandez's signed the mural with a special dedication to the students and to their kids, highlighting the importance of giving back to their community.”

From a young age Hernandez knew that he wanted to be an artist and has made it his livelihood. He worked as an art teacher in public schools for five years and has many years experience as a professional artist.

Hernandez said he is always looking for ways to use his talent to serve others in some way and looks forward to other opportunities to contribute his work to Canutillo ISD and the El Paso community.

“I am grateful to Mr. Hernandez for dedicating his time and talents to create beautiful artwork to brighten our campus,” Dr. Aranda said. “The mural brings all of us a sense of pride and spirit and is a perfect depiction of who we are as a campus, the proud Firebirds.”