Yary Livan stands above the mural created by students under his teaching and supervision and that of Jacqui Miller at the Pyne Arts Magnet School.	courtesy
Yary Livan stands above the mural created by students under his teaching and supervision and that of Jacqui Miller at the Pyne Arts Magnet School. courtesy photo

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LOWELL -- The Pyne Arts Magnet School recently unveiled a ceramic-tile mural, titled "New Waves Replace Old Waves," created by students with artist-in-residence Yary Livan, a Lowell artist and Middlesex Community College adjunct ceramics professor.

Designed by Livan and comprised of more than 500, 3x3-inch tiles, the mural hangs in the school's main hallway. Every student in the school participated under Livan's supervision, in collaboration with Pyne Arts art teacher Jacqui Miller, who is also an MCC adjunct professor of art.

The title of the mural is taken from an old Cambodian poem, and symbolizes the cycle of life, Livan explained.

A survivor of the Cambodian genocide, Livan is one of only a few surviving masters of classical Cambodian ceramics. The Pyne Arts mural project is part of an ongoing college-community partnership focused on the art form.

Livan is also at the center of a two-year, $40,000 grant MCC recently received from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the preservation and understanding of Cambodian ceramic tradition and to encourage a new generation of Cambodian ceramists.

The grant has enabled Livan to expand his teaching to Lowell public school students and the community and to train teachers in the art and history of Cambodian ceramics in workshops he co-teaches with Miller.