75 Coombs Street, Napa California 94558

More often than not I find that my collaborations happen very organically. This mural came together because the universe brought Giancarlo Grabella and I together in a very mysterious way, and instead of shying away from a friendship we allowed time to dictate what would develop between us. Giancarlo is owner of Olde Town Barbershop in Napa. Years ago he was visiting New York City with his partner and family and magically ran into me on the subway in Greenpoint. Gian and I had never met but we knew of each other through Instragam.  While his lady thought he was totally crazy for yelling my name in the middle of the subway platform, he couldn't help but say hi. At the time I had just finished getting my leg tattooed at East River Tattoo and was limping back to my airbnb, in pain, wondering who this stranger from home was. After that Gian and I ran into each other again but this time in Napa. We kept up with each other on social media and before we knew it we started this mural together. 

Gian, like a lot of us locals, has a designated store where he stops by to pick up a drink or a snack. One day while walking into A1 Food Store on Coombs he realized that there was a giant empty wall with good potential for a mural. Next thing you know my phone pings me and it's Gian asking if I want to do a mural. I, of course, scream yes. He walked into A1 and talked to Tony, the store owner, and before I knew it the three of us met to talk about ideas. 

I decided to replicate mine and Ana Teresa Fernandes' SOMOS VISIBLE T-shirt into a mural in an effort to bring the local Latinx community something to be proud of. After painting the mural we asked the community to contribute their handprint to our mural as a symbol of solidarity that would unite the community. Using the same neon yellow and orange colors force us to see ourselves reflected in this mural. It is so beautiful how something so simple can make such a powerful statement! Thank you to everyone who joined us that day. 

Giancarlo and Arleene

Kellen, Lupe, Arleene and Marguerite

Kellen and Marguerite 

The mural before our community event.

My niece Aylin and my father were the first to put their hand prints on the mural. 

More community members that gathered in solidarity. 

Gracias. Thank you. 

To everyone who helped bring this mural together. 

In Lak'ech Ala K'in 

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