This mural design was created for North Seattle College's ART 204 Mural Art Course with instruction from Kelda Martensen. The course guides students through the intricacies of designing, planning and and painting public art murals. Along with designing their own mural proposals, students work with and execute a design from a professional artist.
The NSC Art Council had a call for submissions for the 2023 campus mural, with a focus on the Latine community. My mural proposal was chosen and moved forward with.
I was inspired by by the migration journey so many people in the Latine community either experience or are affected by, and by its placement on the Opportunity Center building (described to me as where the college meets the community). The design I created was based in motifs from indigenous mythology and focused on creating a narrative on community support through change and transformation.
There were multiple symbols I wove together in order to convey this story of journeying.
Arbol De Vida  
The visual language of the tree in this piece took inspiration from the Arbol de Vida pottery created in Central Mexico. They showcase an absolute abundance and harmony of life. The tree in the piece is a symbol for interconnectedness, fruitfulness, and interdependence. A tree’s roots are almost mirrors of its branches, and every part of the tree, from the roots connecting to the earth, the branches and leaves creating shade, and the flowers and fruit providing sustenance to animals, interacts symbiotically with all life around it.
The dog in this piece is a Xoloitzcuintli, a dog native to Central America. Dogs were believed to carry the souls of the dead across a river to the afterlife, or otherwise to be a guide to souls going through the journey of death. In contrast, the Xoloitzcuintli in this piece is one that carries its riders not through death, but through the murky waters of change.
The Xoloitzcuintli is patterned with butterflies, to signify its mission as one of transformation and change.
Night to Day  
The people in this piece are being transported from night to day, creating implication of rebirth and renewal. The sun is a figure of rebirth in stories spanning many indigenous cultures in Latin America. The journey through night was one of great change and transformation.
Shooting Stars  
The night sky that the people are emerging from is dappled in shooting stars, signifying hope and optimism. The Xoloitzcuintli also has the pattern of a shooting star, to showcase it’s benevolent intentions. This is to impress the idea that the state of the unknown can also be a place of wish-fulfillment and dreaming.
The students began working to translate the design onto the wall during the 2023 Spring Quarter. I joined them throughout the course to paint and adjust elements when needed. It was completed and unveiled in June 2023.

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