Two Years In the Making, the 'Wonder' Mural is Finally Finished

The painting replaces a previous piece that was accidentally erased on the side of the Laguna Canyon Winery.

A protective varnish coat—which will be applied this week—is all the work that's left to do on the "Wonder" mural on the side of the Laguna Canyon Winery building in Laguna Canyon, just across the road from the Laguna College of Art and Design.


LCAD students, supervised by instructor Mia Tavonatti, have spent much of the past year working on the mural, which replaces another mural that had been on the same wall for eight years until it was accidentally rubbed out in February 2011 by the winery owners, who erroneously thought they owned the exterior wall when it actually was public property.

"It's a relief that it's over," Tavonatti tells Patch. "We've been working on it for two semesters plus. I do think it’s a significant improvement on the former mural, and the students learned a lot by going through the process."

The wall remained grey for the rest of 2011, which certainly left that stretch of the canyon road a lot less colorful. Plans were made for a replacement mural, and a contest was held to come up with a theme as part of Tavonatti's Power of Words Project. After a vote, the word "Wonder" won out, a design by student Cheryl Kook was approved, and painting began in April 2012 (click here for a video showing the mural's early stages).

"The choice of the word 'wonder' was perfect," says Tavonatti. "It all ended up being synchronistic. 'Wonder' is such a great word, it lent itself to so much great imagery. It's important for it to be beneficial to the community, and I think it does that."


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