EN TIEMPOS DE CRISIS 
IN TIMES OF CRISIS 2020
di Rosa Center for the Arts, Napa Ca. 

The October 2017 Northern California wildfires, also known as the Wine Country Fires, included a series of 250 fires that spread across Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte and Solano counties. While 254,000 acres scorched through the day and night, the air quality of Napa reached “hazardous” – the level deemed most dangerous on the Environmental Protection Agency scale. These severe air quality conditions led some people to evacuate their homes in search of clean air. Others, like low-income agricultural workers, had no choice but to continue with the ongoing harvest in an attempt to save the area’s grapes. Tractors with heavy bright lights illuminated vineyards across the valley as people raced to pick grapes before the smoke could damage them. Agricultural workers worked through the night, exposing themselves to toxic air, risking their health and safety. These unseen heroes of our community are resilient embodiments of strength, commitment, and power. In Times of Crisis honors all those who go unrecognized as they care for our beloved Napa Valley.

In Times of Crisis was created in part with students from Oxbow School during the early months 2020. Fourteen high school students worked under the mentorship of artist Arleene Correa Valencia to draw and paint the base layers of her design. Correa Valencia completed the mural alone, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Valencia emigrated to Napa from Michoacán, Mexico when she was three years old. Her work focuses on shining a light on human rights issues including those of equity, (in)visibility, and discrimination. Unlike murals that can be easily seen from a distance, In Times of Crisis invites the viewer to look closer and contemplate the male and female laborers pictured as they harvest grapes in the smoky night air.

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