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‘Light up for art’: Mural project aims to promote mental wellness | Arts & Theater

When it came to starting her latest mural, artist Minami Marina Perales knew that colors would make all the difference.

“When we got here, the wall was gray,” Perales said of the 126-foot-long wall at the California Living Museum. “Murals can change the whole environment and color it. Attractive colors can soften the day. Cheerful and wonderful colors — I have that in mind. I did. “

Last week, Perales finished off with California’s flora and fauna-filled work with creative crossing co-production artist Christopher Perez.

Despite painting for about seven hours a day for a month, the artist can awaken the turkey vulture (appearing early to overcome the worst summer heat) and see a bear. He said he was happy to work in the environment. Eat berries during breaks.

“It feels like walking in the sun, not at work …. It feels like a dream. It was a wonderful experience to be here. I want to turn that joy and happiness into a mural.”

That aggressiveness is exactly what the organizers had in mind for this mural, one of five to be completed by September for National Suicide Prevention and Recovery Month.

“Our two big months are May for mental health awareness and September for suicide prevention and substance abuse awareness,” said Dr. Christina Radiral, a psychologist at Khan Behavioral Health Recovery Services. Said. “There are many festive events.”

Kern Behavioral Health has teamed up with Creative Crossing artists on this project to team up with Bakersfield City School District Office on Baker Street, Mary K. Shelmental Health Center on College Avenue, Dignity Health Memorial Hospital on 34th Street, and 28th Avenue. Kern County Mental Health Management Office in.

“This is just a way for Kern Behavioral Health to remind and inform the community that we are there for them and that their mental health is important,” Kern Behavioral Health spokesman said. Man Mitchall Patel said.

This is the latest collaboration between the art group and Kern Behavioral Health. Previous efforts have included chalk murals in the Oleander district in May 2020 and the Art in the Park event at Panorama Park in May this year.

The project aims to bring together the community and hold conversations about mental health, along with beautiful art, which may not be easy for some.

“This magic is happening and introspecting,” Radiral said of these outreach events. “It (art) is what you draw from it. I’ve seen people engage in art and they come to us.”

Volunteer Liz Lopez said he saw many parents and grandparents spend more time with their children during the pandemic, asking questions as well as men.

“The artwork helped them relax …. people felt it was more acceptable and okay to talk about it,” she said.

Conversations may begin while work is in progress.

“It’s just a blessing to me,” Perez said of those who came to ask about the ongoing mural painting. “You receive feedback, then you have a deep conversation.”

Perez, who has been an art group from the beginning, said he enjoys interacting with the community.

“The advantage of creative crossing is that some people know that we draw, others know that we can stand up and talk to us. We accept everyone. If you want to get involved, they tell me, “You should be here.’It takes a little time and a little patience, but you need to teach.”

According to Perales, the group helped her establish her position as a full-time artist.

“Before creative crossing, I was really isolated. I didn’t know any other artists … (founders) Sarah (Nobles) and Kay (Delagon), they are very kind and wonderful people.”

Public art benefits both artists and viewers.

“The impact of art on our community is the connection and the building of the village,” said Rajlal.

That also applies to CALM murals, which delight not only visitors but also zoo staff.

“Mirami caught everyone’s heart when we incorporated our two cats into the design,” said CALM director Meg Maitland, referring to the feline cactus and Red wandering around the premises. It was. “They are treated very well here.”

In addition to turkey vultures, bears, mountain lions, quails, kingsnakes, two humans, and a black widow spider, the mural depicts two cats in a special location near where the animals rest at night. The wall notch, called the “Cat Portal”, which has access to both sides of the wall, also has cat ears that symbolize its function.

Each mural in the collaboration includes a variety of creative crossing artists and themes related to their location. For example, the next office in the BCSD office will focus on children and education.

“They will reflect art and the environment in which people are,” Patel said.

All murals will be completed by September, with weekly ribbon cuts that month.

The project has so far made a good start with the community and creators.

“We had the little ones just walk and stand behind us,” Perales said. “They ask,’What are you doing?’ They are curious. I show them spray paint and tips. Then they run away and say,” Mom, I’m a spray painter. I want to be! “

“I’m really very happy to see them brighten up for art.”

‘Light up for art’: Mural project aims to promote mental wellness | Arts & Theater Source link ‘Light up for art’: Mural project aims to promote mental wellness | Arts & Theater

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