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Buddha & Ganesh

January 28, 2010

I thought I’d stay in the neighborhood since we’ve been here all week… here’s another mural produced by the folks at Community Rejuvenation Project. This one’s located at 21st and Mandela Parkway, right around the corner from Bee Aware – Connected Worlds

These guys are busy. I haven’t even scratched the surface in terms of the murals they’ve produced over the last few years and intend to take a field trip down Foothill Blvd. in the near future to photograph many more.

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I’m not sure when this one was produced… maybe my friend Desi can chime in and give us a bit more information. In the meantime I’ll tell you that CRP worked with 30 kids during a 6-week grant-funded program last summer to produce positive mural art in various neighborhoods in Oakland. The youth were actually paid for their time (jobs people!), as were the four artist instructors: Desi, Mr. E, Mike360, and Raven.

In addition to learning how to paint, the kids learned basic art concepts, promotional & marketing skills to interact with the local community around the project, documentation & surveying techniques, and even basic job skills like showing up on time and finishing a job through to completion. The unveiling of each mural was typically accompanied by a community block party.

silence the violence, mural art oakland, mural on mandela

At the end of the summer program they held a week-long workshop to produce the printed magazine S.W.E.A.R. documenting their efforts. SWEAR stands for Street Warriors Enacting Artistic Revolution, and the full 24 page piece was entirely produced by the youth, excluding printing.

It’s a gorgeous glossy full of wonderful vignettes about the projects and participants… poetry, artist bio’s, essays, etc. Here’s a snippet of one student’s essay:

“The CRP program is almost complete; we are still developing and exploring who we are and how art can change our world. During our first week, we dove into training and challenged ourselves to learn something completely new. Some of us had experience in painting, surveying, clean up, or promotion, but besides the lead artists, we were teaching each other.”

oakland mural art, CRP mural on Mandela, CRP murals, Mandela Parkway murals

buddha mural, oakland mural art, CRP murals, mural on mandela

They’ve just finished their grant applications for 2010 and are planning for several more murals to be painted in the coming year. A couple locations have been picked in my neighborhood (the 30′s at San Pablo) and I, for one, am very excited!

One Comment
  1. January 29, 2010 3:44 am

    Thanks for this detailed post on the Community Rejuvenation Project. I just met Desi last night and found myself really drawn in by what he’s doing. Then I found your blog. Jackpot! I love what you’re doing here.

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