“Fresh Start,” a new interactive mural depicting an environmental game board at West Berkeley’s REALM Charter School, is the latest project of Berkeley City College’s True Colors Murals Project. The artwork displays narratives of nationally recognized, young environmental leaders with real and imagined scenarios. These scenes also show communities how to work toward sustainability. While the mural’s unveiling takes place in June 2012, the group has set a goal of raising $6,000 by Thur., Apr. 5 in order to receive matching funds. For details about how you can help or donate to the project, click here or contact Juana Alicia Araiza, project director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Muralist and Berkeley City College art instructor Juana Alicia Araiza annually directs college mural design and community art projects as part of BCC’s art curriculum. True Colors projects brings together student artists and community members, who annually create one or more public murals with social and environmental justice themes. Earth Island Institute primarily sponsors the project.
The new mural allows students and community members to navigate complex information with new technologies. The audience/participants not only view the mural, but also play with the design that becomes an actual living experience and on-line journey.
All of the “Fresh Start” student participants conducted community surveys, oral histories, and site-based research to develop the content, form and aesthetics of the interactive work. The “game board” themed mural includes access to a virtual world to educate both students and community about ideas and practices which lead to environmental sustainability. The project will allow REALM students to write stories, illustrate and create animation projects about how to play the game. Imagine, for example, landing on a square that leads to learning about lead poisoning issues and solutions in West Berkeley.
The REALM Charter School, located at 2023 8th Street, is a project-based, technology-rich learning environment that immerses students and teachers in authentic virtual learning environments that require collaboration, inquiry, critical thinking, ingenuity, and imagination.