OAKLAND, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 -
AHC is proud to announce the progress of the first large scale mural beautification and revitalization project in West Oakland/Emeryville. The third 4,000 sq. ft. mural will begin this Saturday, September 19, 2015 and will continue for only one month to complete. It will be located under the 580 freeway on West Street in between 35th and 36th Streets.
Oakland students from the ArtEsteem Visual Art class at West Oakland Middle School, were led through a process to design the third mural to be part of the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project. The mural addresses some of the deepest concerns in the West Oakland community. Students worked to develop concepts, heroes, and the stories behind them. Youth will have the opportunity to paint their stories on the wall alongside professional muralists on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 from 2-4pm.
The project is to revitalize an area completely deprived of the city's resources and thus more subject to blight, violence and tagging, through empowering local youth, artists and community members. Community participation in the beautification process of public space, means a stronger investment from Oakland residents to keep the city safe and respected by all. And that's exactly what this project is successfully doing. The first two murals are located on San Pablo and Market Street under the 580 freeway and the successive murals will be located along the underpasses of the 580 freeway to Martin Luther King Jr. Way. AHC will hire mainly Oakland based artists to paint the murals, as the whole process will promote and exemplify community collaboration from beginning to end.
The Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project is born out of AHC's ArtEsteem Self as Super Hero curriculum, which has been taught in Oakland schools for over a decade. ArtEsteem is AHC's award-winning art and literacy program that has helped develop creative, engaged and successful children through building knowledge and emotional, social, academic, artistic, and intellectual skills. The Self as Super Hero curriculum was inspired by our current need for heroes for our children, youth and communities. In the program, children are imaginatively challenged to reinvent themselves as social justice oriented super heroes who have the ability to solve problems in their own community.
Over the course of 10 years we plan to complete seven murals below the 580 freeway in West Oakland. Using the theme of super heroes, the murals will be designed by middle and high school students and will uplift and positively transform the neighborhood. These murals will serve as a gateway to West and Downtown Oakland and will become a key way in which our community is perceived.