Vietnamese refugee Dung Le wanted to leave something of himself behind when he graduates from Buena Park High School next Wednesday and that's exactly what he did--on the wall of Flora Anderson's classroom.
Le, who has taken French from Anderson for three years, painted an impressive, floor-to-ceiling mural of an ancient Venetian canal in oil. The painting, done in a style reminiscent of the 18th Century, dominates the rear wall of the classroom.
The 18-year-old Le, who came to the United States in 1975, has taken only one art class--a drawing class in junior high school--but he has been drawing since he was in third grade. "I got most of my training from reading books and going to museums," said Le, a star badminton player who plans to major in engineering at Cal Poly Pomona in the fall.
Le said he worked on the mural on and off after school for two months. But while he has received a lot of recognition from students for doing the painting, the artist thinks he could have done better. "I think it's good, but I kind of rushed it a little bit," he said with a chuckle.
Anderson said Le originally wanted to be like Michelangelo and paint the classroom ceiling from a scaffold. But the 20th Century intervened: "The acoustical ceiling had too many holes in it," she said.