Deep Sea Magic
Works Progress Administration (WPA)/Federal Art Project (FAP) artists were encouraged by their supervisors and by their sponsors (in this case the Long Beach Board of Education) to depict subjects within the context of the institution or setting. Olinka Hrdy’s “Deep Sea Magic” drew heavily on the school’s proximity to the seaside and the Alamitos Bay. The mural which covers both walls of the school’s foyer above the wainscoting is quite different from most FAP murals in Long Beach completed at this time. The hues are muted blues, greens, pinks and purples, heavily outlining underwater mountains, rocks, and kelp. The sea creatures are translucent in color, but have eyes and scales dotted with silver or gold leaf, effectively making the sea glitter like sun shining through the water.
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