Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Mural DNA

Maiya puts on the final touch

MURAL LOG: Tuesday, August 9, 2005, 12:22 a.m. and the mural is finished. I’m so relieved. It’s been a love-hate relationship. I love doing a mural in J-Town. It’s been a dream from years back. But it’s taken so much of my time and energy. I just wanted it to be over. I started the process two years ago and after several delays and postponements missed the August 1 finish date by a week. We hope to get the mural hung by September 17 for the Ties That Bind Conference in Little Tokyo. Stay tuned for details.

Some quick thanks:

To everyone who helped with the mural. Almost 500 people painted or contributed in some way.

Nancy Kikuchi, the mural coordinator, spent endless hours at community meetings, City hearings, filling out paperwork, fundraising, phone calling, and taking care of all the mural logistics and volunteer coordination for the last three years. And that’s on top of all her regular hectic work and life schedule. And she’s still not done. Look for Nancy and others in the mural playing drums with Bombu Taiko.

Sergio Diaz and Jorge Diaz were the other two mural artists whose hard beautiful work made the mural happen. You probably met Jorge if you helped paint in September/October. He was the funny, tall guy who flung around the 4’x 8’ mural panels like they were screen doors. After Little Tokyo, the mural was stored and the majority of the details were painted at Sergio’s home in Van Nuys. Thankfully, many of his artist friends helped paint. I want to thank his wife Stephanie and their 17-month daughter Olivia (who was 5 months old when we started) for being so patient. Keep an eye out for Olivia in the mural.

Thank you to the members of the Little Tokyo community group, J-Town Voice and staff at Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC). J-Town Voice helped organize the community painting days, shared the mural’s Little Tokyo history with volunteers, and gave great feedback on the mural’s design. Priming the 20 mural boards and tracing the design with an overhead projector all started in the Casa Heiwa underground parking lot in the hottest week last summer. Thank you LTSC peoples for working through all that hot muggy weather.

Let me not forget Jenni for carrying the load with Maiya and the house for the last few weeks while I painted. Thank you for supporting me. Maiya, thank you for painting the very last details to the mural: three tiny fingerprints with white paint on the three Day of Remembrance candle flames. I wanted you to begin your life serving the community and feeling connected to J-Town history. Thank you also for creatively spitting up on the mural and sharing some of your unique DNA.


Yuko said...

Congratulations!!! Wow... The mural is the first official thing on my list of things to do for my spirit when I get home! Yay, yay, yay!

Amanda Fink said...

Hi there! I used to be friends with Sergio, Stephanie & Jorge, but lost contact with them many years ago. I was wondering if you were still in touch with them, and if you were, if you would let them know that "Amanda Fink" is looking for them. They were incredible lights in my life and I would love to be in touch with them again.