Art Students Gift Operation Christmas Child with Mural

Department of Art hopes to continue to serve volunteers through creativity

Dec. 22, 2014 By Brieana Jordan

Biola University’s Department of Art created a custom mural for Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a Christian non-profit organization that sends shoe boxes filled with donated gifts to children across the globe. The mural, installed in the OCC warehouse in Huntington Beach, Calif., is intended to honor the 30,000 volunteers that help pack and inspect the shoeboxes each year.

Professors Daniel Chang and Daniel Callis oversaw 30 Biola art students to create the first-ever Christmas mural for OCC workers. In the 100,000 square foot warehouse, eight panels — each eight feet tall and 64 feet wide — cover approximately 500 square feet in the space giving volunteers something to look at while working.

Starting in November, small groups sketched specific ideas on paper with the concept of the journey a OCC shoebox makes on its way to a child. With those ideas, students then practiced on the inside walls of Biola art classrooms and then walls outside of the classroom.

When it came time for the students to create the actual mural, students painted the panels matte black, then created tape drawings with white tape. White gloss paint was then applied to all of the panels and then students peeled the tape off carefully so behind the white gloss were matte black lines.

It took nearly three weeks to create the entire mural. It was presented to OCC and volunteers in late November.

Chang wants this to be a long meaningful relationship between the art department and Operation Christmas Child. His hope is to continue their involvement, increase their participation, and expand by getting more students involved.

“Ultimately it’s an effort that myself and Dan Callis want to have our students meaningfully serve the Kingdom through the gift of art,” said Chang.

Though the art department has not yet decided what next year’s gift will be to OCC, Chang is expressing desire to see the different expertises of Biola’s art students — such as sculpting, photography, and graphic design — involved in next year’s project.

“My hope is we can continue this relationship, but also find other interesting ways to connect with other ministries and opportunities,” said Chang. 


Photos by Amy VanVlear. Written by Brieana Jordan, iBiola reporter. For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, media relations specialist, at 562.777.4061 or


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