Students' paintings reflecting significant Orange County cases

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The paintings are big, bold and unsigned -- each one newly hung on the walls of the recently opened courthouse as a testament to Orange County's history and promise.

The largest is a mural depicting Westminster vs. Mendez, the 1947 ruling originating in Orange County that put an end to segregated schools for Mexican children. It was painted by students from Otto A. Fischer School, which serves residents of juvenile hall.

The collaborative art at the new 4th District Court of Appeal building in Santa Ana was shown this week at a ceremony honoring those who helped bring to fruition the project involving students and courthouse officials...

... The works are the product of a prolonged effort by appellate Justice Eileen Moore, who three years ago was charged with acquiring art for the courthouse -- without a budget.

She tried getting donated art but was stymied by possible conflicts of interest with high-profile donors.

Later, she tried a court-sponsored art contest that yielded just three entries.

Then Moore approached the Orange County Department of Education. Working together, she and education officials developed a program that would have students create art based on issues raised and resolved in Orange County courts over the years.

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