Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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‘Bolt from the blue: Kiss of the tides’

Perla Lara
Artist Tommy Burns Mural, “Bolt from the blue: Kiss of the tides” on the wall of the old Fine Arts Building at Cerritos College, done over the span of one week for the F.A.R. Bazaar event. Burns chose to paint what he calls a “simple romantic” art that everyone who saw could understand and relate to. Photo credit: Perla Lara

“Tides come and go, they represent change, the kiss represents being in the moment. […] We all want love to last forever but we don’t know when it might end. Love, anything really, nothing last,” artist Tommy Burns said.

His mural titled “Bolt from the blue: Kiss of the tides” represents “love at first kiss and the constant change.”

He said, “This [mural] is romantic, simple. Anybody can understand this image.”

The mural depicts a man and a woman couple kissing with a background of clouds, lightning, tides behind them and a burning heart above them.

Burns is a member of the Masters in Fine Arts students from Claremont Graduate University collective.

As a group they chose the theme “Bolt From The Blue,” which according to the collective statement was inspired by, “ephemeral nature of this [FAR Bazaar] event. It is the building’s last spark of life before it is demolished and a new life begins. This show only exists in a moment. It is a bolt from the blue.”

His mural is filled with symbolism of the uncertainty of the future and the desire for a passionate existence despite the uncertainty.

Knowing his work will be demolished made Burns reflect on things in life that are believed to be eternal but could also come to an end.

The tides set as the background of the couple kissing represent change.

The storm clouds in the distance represent the uncertainty of the unknown. Burns sees the clouds and rain as something violent, recurring but also a symbol of fertility.

The glowing heart on fire in the mural also has a specific meaning for Burns.

He said, “It represents our goal [in life] to have an intense passionate love.”

Cerritos College President Jose Fierro, saw the mural as it was being worked on, which made it one of his favorite pieces in the FAR Bazaar event.

“I started touring the building when they were doing the setup, I’ve been in and out of the building since [Monday, Jan 23]. actually so I’ve been able to see the process […] it’s nice to see the evolution from the idea to the setup and now to the finished rooms.

I saw when he first started to do it and I had the opportunity to see it finished and look at it multiple times every time I walked by it looked a little different […] it caught my attention a lot because I was able to see it from the get go when he first started working on it,” Fierro said.

The mural has a layer of pink latex paint and the rest was made using spray paint.

Burns paid great attention to detail going over parts of the mural two or three times.

It took Burns approximately four days working from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to complete the mural.

The fact that his mural will be torn down did not discourage him or sadden him.

He said, “I have other works that no longer exist, I have to thank Art Director James MacDevitt for the opportunity to paint on a real wall. I appreciate painting on a real wall it’s how I started and what I’d like to do.”

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About the Contributor
Perla Lara, Managing Editor
I am a journalism student with a love of photography which makes me a photojournalist at heart. My objective is to write about people and the stories they create. I also believe that photography and journalism are great ways to document history and to connect with other people throughout space and time. My goal is to take photographs, and write stories that make an impact in peoples lives.
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‘Bolt from the blue: Kiss of the tides’