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Shepard Fairey creates a monumental day for Jupiter

Shepard+Fairey%27s+mural+of+Perry+Cohen.
Shepard Fairey's mural of Perry Cohen.

Shepard Fairey's mural of Perry Cohen.

Caitlyn Lombardo

Caitlyn Lombardo

Shepard Fairey's mural of Perry Cohen.

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On Monday, Dec. 4 world famous artist Shepard Fairey painted a mural for the Perry J. Cohen Wetlands Laboratory on the bank of Jupiter High’s retention pond, a long-awaited moment for supporters of the project.

“Getting to see it all put together like this fills me with warmth,” Perry Cohen’s mother, Pamela Cohen, said of the completed mural.

Students paid $20 to witness Fairey’s team paint the wall throughout the school day. Each student received a t-shirt, sticker, and brochure explaining the purpose behind the Perry J Cohen Wetlands Laboratory, an outdoor classroom where students will learn about nature in a hands-on environment. All proceeds from the event will help construct the laboratory.

“Perry was a fantastic kid who would love to see what this project became,” said Perry Cohen’s stepfather, Nikolas Korniloff.

Fairey became involved in the project when his long-time friend, Korniloff, contacted him about painting a mural for the classroom to honor his stepson. Fairey is the creator of the OBEY Propaganda brand as well as former President Barack Obama’s world-famous “HOPE” campaign poster during the 2008 election. Fairey explained his emergence into art in an open interview with students.

“I was always a punk rock, skater type kid. When [my parents] noticed art was all I did they enrolled me in art classes which eventually led me to painting Wynwood Walls and starting my own clothing line based on the uniqueness I felt in myself,” Fairey said.

Fairey reminisced about Perry Cohen’s fascination for art and adventure, having met him, with Korniloff, in Miami several years prior. At the age of 14, Perry Cohen also loved the environment and fishing and was accepted into the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) program at Jupiter High. In the months following his disappearance at sea in July 2015, Korniloff contacted Jupiter High’s former principal Dan Frank, about partnering with JERFSA and Fairey to create an outdoor classroom and accompanying mural to inspire teenage love and knowledge of the environment.

“To see his face on this wall gives me a tremendous feeling of support and there’s an endless connection to my son’s soul here,” Pamela Cohen said.

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Shepard Fairey creates a monumental day for Jupiter