A collaboration with Boys and Girls Club Napa Valley and di Rosa Center for the Arts 

I have a tendency to hold on tightly to every word that my friends & strangers share with me. It often hurts me more than it benefits me but the story I’m sharing today starts with the wise words of my sister Ana Teresa Fernandez, who one day shared with me her analogy on the role of an artist. She so generously taught me that sometimes, if we are lucky, our role as artist is merely to drive the bus 🚌 

Instead of being sole creators of something new, sparkly & artistic we must simply be the drivers that listen & guide the community of enthusiastic passengers who trusted us and stepped into our buss. 

A couple months ago I listened to the teens at the BGC of Napa @theclubat1515 as they shared with me their dreams of making a mural that addressed issues close to their hearts. Having done a few murals before I felt honored that they would allow me to drive them to make their visual dreams come true. 

The teens addressed a specific location that is trafficked by many generations of Napa Valley locals. Anyone who attended Napa or Vintage High has hung out behind the bleacher’s of the football stadium and witnessed the ways in which this alley way has been the target of graffiti wars between South & North identifying gangs. 

These California born gangs formed as a survival tactic used by imprisoned Mexican Americans in 1968 to find community and alliance. The divide was clearly established with two groups: the Norteños (red identifying) who came from the North and the Sureños (blue identifying) who came from the South.

These gangs have had a long lasting effect in our communities & have played a role in our Chicano history that is undeniable. However impactful they might be they still promote the separation and rivalry of our community which the BGC teens wished to dismantle with their mural. 

All of the BGC kids came together to nominate the color purple as a symbol of unity that swirls together both the red & blue colors of this long standing fight between North & South. They also carefully crafted a message in Spanish & in English that would hopefully make the graffiti taggers reconsider what it is that they are standing for. 

Their final message: 



painted beautifully in purple 💜 

I am so honored to have been here to see this incredible generation of teens dismantle ideas of separation while working together to strengthen the power of our community. 

A huge thank you to di Rosa Center for the Arts @dirosaart for helping this project come to life and Josh, @joshuasergeson who always leaves me breathless. Seeing his devotion & compassion for the BGC is inspiring beyond words. 

Thank you for allowing me to drive 🚌✨💜

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