SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A celebration was held Saturday for the unveiling of the new Diversity Youth Mural at the Louden Nelson Community Center.
Nearly 50 people took part in painting and planning the mural that now lines a wall near the intersection of Laurel and Center Streets.
Painters tell KION that many of the youth that helped create the painting felt that the art in Santa Cruz did not represent them, until now. “For the first time a lot of them feel really accepted by the community, feel really heard and seen and represented. You know as one of the youth said, I never felt that anything in Santa Cruz had represented me as far as the public art here. To have something that really embraces that and accurately represents it has been really monumental for them,” says Lead Muralist Emmanuel Garcia.
From the viewers point of view Garcia says you are looking at an intersection. Down one side the painting represents the history of oppression and today's reality, while the other shows how life could be if everyone worked to understand each other and the World that the youth wants to create.
The original idea started about two years ago and painting began in November. Garcia says everyone involved is excited to make this mark in Santa Cruz.