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Brightening public spaces with culture - The new mural on Russ St

Categories   SOMA Community Public Art SOMA Pilipinas

Story and Photos by Max Guerrera

The new mural of a carabao on Russ St. honors the historical and cultural roots of the Filipino community in the neighborhood, and adds charm to a wall once scattered with graffiti. 

According to one of the muralists Franceska Gamez, “the carabao is such a common animal in the Philippines that represents hard work and dedication, but also bayanihan, which is a sense of community coming together.” 

The mural is a collaboration by Gamez and Cece Carpio, both artists from Trust Your Struggle Collective; a group of artists dedicated to social justice, environmental sustainability, and community organizing through the medium of public art and activism. “We're here in spite of gentrification and everything that's happening; creating, and representing our culture.” Said Carpio. 

Gamez hopes the mural serves as a way to make residents feel seen and celebrated. “Public art is a constant conversation with the environment that you're painting in and the community.”

The mural can be found on Russ and Folsom St. 

“The neighborhood deserves color, vibrance, and celebration. The mural is like a love letter to the community” -Franceska Gamez