Hello Friends and Supporters,
First of all, thank you for making the upcoming mural installation possible. For those of you that completed your surveys and sent me your addresses, all backer rewards have been mailed as of today. With an awesome eighty backers, it took me a while to package and mail all of the rewards. The $25 and $100 rewards went out this morning, so please look for them in the next few days. All other rewards went out several weeks ago.
Gonzalo Hidalgo will be starting the installation of the Huehuetlatolli Murals at Satellite Senior Housing between April 15th and 20th, and I am anticipating an early fall inauguration. I will keep you posted. I am currently finishing a new set of murals for the Centro Chicano at Stanford University, and the works in progress can be seen at the following web site: http://juanaaliciaatcentro.wordpress.com/ An April installation is anticipated for these as well, with a fall inauguration to follow. I will also invite all backers to that party as well!
Finally, I am directing a new project with my students at Berkeley City College, the True Colors Mural Project for the REALM Charter School in West Berkeley. We are currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign for that project as well: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/juanaalicia/fresh-start-true-colors-interactive-mural-at-realm.
If you can support us in that effort, I would greatly appreciate it. All funds for the project go to Earth Island Institute, our fiscal agent. Therefore, in this case, your donations are also tax deductible! Please watch the REALM School project video and support my students’ work for environmental justice in the public schools.
The meaning of the works is stated eloquently in the poetry of Berkeley elder poet Rafael Jesús Gonzalez, from his piece Huehuetlatolli: The Wisdom of Elders, which was a key inspiration for my murals. Here is a selection of one of his verses:
Huehuetlatolli for Juana Alicia’s Satellite Elders’ Housing Project
…Mensaje de sabiduría:
Escucha bien:lo más importantees saber amar.
Listen well:the most important thingis to know how to love.
Anciana a la joven:
La belleza, hija,viene del corazón.
Beauty, daughter,comes from the heart…
© Rafael Jesús González 2007
As the poetry expresses, the murals honor our nature and the natural world from which we come. They portray the five elements: air, water, fire, earth and the souI, with images of elder men and women speaking to young men and women. The human images emerge from the earth motif. This particular project has the goal of creating artworks at a grassroots level to promote environmental justice in underserved neighborhoods. This is a sustainable architecture program which serves low-income seniors. Thanks to everyone for helping make this project a reality!
The images below represent some of the prints and posters I have sent you as gifts for your contributions. Please see the Kickstarter site for more details:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/juanaalicia/new-mural-installation-wisdom-of-the-elders-huehue
March 7, 2011
Dear Community Supporters,
I am requesting your help to raise funds to complete the installation of ten monumental ceramic murals that I have created for Satellite Senior Housing’s Helios Corner Project in West Berkeley. In 2004, Satellite’s director at that time approached me to create site specific works for their anticipated low-income senior housing project for the corner of University Avenue and Sacramento Street. After a thorough community research project, many oral interviews with Berkeley elders, community leaders and environmental activists, such as the Berkeley Grey Panthers, community organizers Sol Levinson and Dr. Salvador Murillo, environmental biologist Dr. Ignacio Chapela, State Senator Lonie Hancock and many others, I designed a series of 2′ x 11′ and 2′ x 8′ ceramic bas relief murals for the facade of the now-completed building. Satellite then contracted me to fabricate my design, which I did over a period of two years, including during my Fulbright in Yucatán, Mexico, where I had studio facilities that allowed me to work on a larger scale than usual.
I worked for four years to design and fabricate the panels, and finished them in June of 2008. Since then, they have been sitting in boxes in a basement at one of Satellite’s facilities, waiting for installation. Satellite received a grant from Open Circle Foundation for $5,000 for the installation in 2007, but still needs to raise another $5,000 to pay for the complete installation. Although I have moral support from local Berkeley officials like Councilwoman Linda Maio and Civic Arts Commission Coordinator Mary Ann Merker, there is apparently no money in the City of Berkeley available for the completion of this project. I am requesting your support in the amount of $5,000 to make the installation of this work a reality.
This particular project has the goal of creating artworks at a ” grassroots level to promote environmental justice in underserved neighborhoods.” This is a sustainable architecture program which serves the poor. The new building is a “green structure”, featuring a photovoltaic solar energy system, central hydronic heating system, passive solar layout, drought-tolerant landscaping and a transit-oriented location with supplemental van service (slide show:http://www.slideshare.net/ICF_HCD/satellite-housing-chdo-ee-in-home-workshop). Additionally, this work, entitled “Huehuetlatoli: The Wisdom of the Elders”, expresses this wisdom as embedded in the five natural elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Air and the Soul. In recent years, I have explored more permanent materials that integrate smoothly into the architecture for which I design.(See juanaalicia.com for images of SANARTE murals and sidewalk for UCSF Medical Center). These ceramic panels are nearly maintenance-free. I have now lived in Berkeley for fifteen years, though most of my body of work is found in San Francisco and Latin America. Although I was paid for my work, it saddens me to have it languishing in boxes. It is my strong desire to see this work completed and given to the City of Berkeley’s low-income seniors and community at large.
Thank you for helping us meet our goal.