Mission View Street Painting

On May 9, 2019 I teamed up with Living Streets Alliance and the families in the Mission View Elementary School neighborhood to paint the intersection of 8th Avenue and 36th Street.  nearly 200 children, parents, grandparents and neighbors came together to beautify this frequently walked corridor. Painting howling coyotes, desert sunsets, smiling suns, and nopales, families and faculty from Mission View Elementary had a blast transforming asphalt and sidewalk into a colorful canvass of symbols and imagery that celebrates their school community. The art helps to create a sense of place and welcoming space, while the the flexposts, reflective pavement markers, and large pots filled with native plants surround the large intersection mural to delineate a traffic circle that helps to slow down drivers.  Without a designated school crossing zone, creating a safer place for students to cross was an essential goal of the project.

During the block party, families were hard at work, down on hands and knees painting the street, but it was a festive atmosphere as Elvis Crespo and other throwback hits filled the air. Older residents set up their lawn chairs to watch as their grandchildren played in the street, riding bicycles and tip-toeing around swathes of wet paint. One neighbor bringing out her own broom, gently swept the sidewalk area she had just painted and commented how healing it was for her to be out in her community in this way. Kiddos swarmed the paint station, chiming in unison for “more paint! more colors! more brushes!” As organized chaos ensued, it was inspiring to take a time-out to watch the smiles grow on children’s faces and adults enthusiastically commenting, “we should do more of this!”