I told my children Friday about the Dimond Community Mural at Macarthur @ Champion Street and said that we could help on Sunday. They were beside themselves with excitement, counting down the days and then the hours on Sunday until we could go and make a "mark" on our hood.
Kristi, the artist creating, facilitating and driving this project was amazing: empowering my children, and others that showed up, to be involved, creative, learn about art, laugh, connect with each other, and celebrate their neighborhood and be proud of Oakland - all in the space of 90 minutes.
My children loved seeing the computer image of what the mural would look like. Immediately they identified the California Poppies, Salmon, Redwood Trees, Oak Trees and Oakland skyline - all the native and/or indigenous aspects of what defines both the historic and emerging Oakland. As a 6 and 4 year olds they made the connection between Oakland, the Mural, and them. What more could we want for our kids? AND they ask now when they can next go back to paint, and if we can drive down the mural street to take a look.
Some criticism has arisen that there isn't enough indigenous stuff in the mural. I disagree - so do my preschooler and first grader - both of whom made the connection and clearly articulated it. Kristi is amazing - with older folks, 30somethings like me, and kids. She is a fan of La Farine (bread)...if you want to say thank you to her buy her a la Farine gift!
They still don't have enough funds to cover the cost of the mural. You can support the mural begun in part by the Dimond Improvement Association in 2 ways:
1. Make a personal contribution via Arts & Creative Expression firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Encourage Jean Quan to decide to support the project with the local funds she directs/manages. She her a note or email at:
One Frank Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612