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Futurist Scholars With Lots of Living Ahead Look at Past

Step aside, all you transportation know-it-alls. Nine-year-old Crissy Krueger and the gang at Irvine’s Santiago Hills School think that getting around in the year 2089 is going to be a breeze.

“See, if there’s traffic, you go out on the roof of your car . . . and if you’re in a hurry, you just put your jet shoes on and fly away,” Krueger says.

As a matter of fact, Krueger says, life 100 years from now is going to be pretty swell “because you won’t have to spend a lot of money on gas and stuff.”

Krueger is among hundreds of county schoolchildren who have brought the county’s past, present and future to life in living color in the imaginative murals exhibited at the Modern Museum of Art in Santa Ana.

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Dedicated Monday in a brief ceremony, the show features the works of students in kindergarten through high school and focuses on life in the county in the years 1889, 1989 and 2089. Participating schools include Travis Ranch Elementary (Yorba Linda), Jefferson Elementary (Santa Ana), Castille Elementary (Mission Viejo), McGaugh Elementary (Seal Beach), Saddleback High School (Santa Ana), John Tynes Elementary (Placentia), Santiago Hills and selected schools from the Fullerton School District.

The mural project was coordinated last spring by the museum in cooperation with the Orange County Centennial committee, according to museum operations director Ann Resnik. With guidance from free-lance illustrator Robert Jackson and school art instructors, students worked side by side to design, draft and paint the wall-size pieces before bringing them to the museum. The works are displayed outside the museum on construction barriers for the neighboring Griffith Tower building.

The chance to dabble in history was important to Alan Hau, 11, of John Tynes School, who helped create a look at transportation and shelter in the year 1889. “It makes you appreciate what you have now,” he said.

And, adds classmate Jessica Smith, 11, “History lets people in the future find out what this place is all about.”

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Speaking of the future: food capsules, disposable underwear and ocean farming will be de rigueur in the year 2089, according to a vivid, detailed mural by Travis Ranch school.

Saturn Soda and Jumbo Jupiter Bars will be the popular snacks, promises Jared Pfeiffer, 11, because “they’ll taste like anything you want them to--you know . . . pizza, hamburgers--and they won’t make you fat.”

Jefferson School student April Evans, 7, who explains her contribution to her school’s free-form piece as “a letter building . . . that’s built way up in the air,” agrees that life in 2089 is “gonna be really different.”

How so?

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“Better,” she says with a knowing smile. “Just better.”

The student murals will be exhibited through December. The Modern Museum of Art is at 5 Hutton Centre Drive near Main Street and MacArthur Boulevard in Santa Ana. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. (Murals may be seen at any time). For more information, call (714) 754-4111.


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