San Rafael Social Justice Public Art Project


Owen Martinez-Alejandre – Sonoma State University, Class of 2024

My idea for this mural was to capture an envision of a future in casual tranquility, where the only possible mark of temper lies within one’s actions, and not their figure. Synonymous throughout everyone is a common feature! A structure of bones that supports what really matters—  one’s character and their adherence to live. I wanted to embody this holy staple with something symbolic and pure, like a flower. It’s ability to uphold against the wind and raging elements in an engrossing, unstable field. But still retaining its fragile existence and persistence to bloom. Glowing in its enchanting colors, these delicate blossoms enrich the soil and root their next of kin to mend the past and populate a better future. The towering plants in my piece provide comfort to the local community. The shade acts as a natural filter from the sun, a visionary element we need to help us see and understand the world around us. But not everything stands as it is, truly. There is always more and first impressions are just introductions. The skeleton figures are just a reminder to the viewers that, often we forget that everyone is the same internally. We are living, and we should strive to live harmoniously with nature, and not survive against deliberate chaos.

Relating this project to Social Justice was difficult. Not just in the execution, but rather the amount of ideas I had to scratch for lack of space! There were elements I just couldn’t include without compromising the original image I settled for [Fluorescence, Regrowth, and Rejuvenation are rebranded from these elements…(Liberty, Freedom, Justice)]. My definition for Justice stems away from the traditional ability to balance one’s action with an equal and/or opposite action. I perceive justice as the ability to improve the principle of a deserving fate, without the direct consequence being the denial of redemption. Regeneration (in this context) means empowering a failing body, and improving on what’s needed. The first tree blossom has three distinct names marked under their respective flowers. Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, who are just some of the shining staples that trajected social justice movements to address the social issues of racial injustice, and to have progress into developing solutions. These unfortunate tragedies have paved hope and reinforced security to an ever aware community to better their actions and beliefs, and to reduce the harm taught by the misguided generations. That is my message to the community.