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

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.