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Local artists use talent to inspire others

Posted at 9:26 AM, Sep 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-26 12:26:47-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — In this week’s Kern’s Kindness, meet two artists behind Creative Crossing. 23ABC's Kallyn Hobmann spoke with the organization's founders and they wanted us to meet two of their artists they say consistently show up and inspire others.

Behind the Ascension Center on Houchin Road is an alleyway getting a transformation.

“I really wanted to bring light to these doors because all the magic happens behind this door," said Creative Crossing artist Tara Neri.

She's painting a mural to support the Ascension Center and those impacted by autism.

“This particular piece is dedicated to autism awareness so I thought with the puzzle pieces not being perfect, that it represents everyone," said Tara.

Tara said she studied graphic design in college and ever since COVID-19 hit, she’s been giving her art her full attention.

“It’s always been a part of my life. I have artists all throughout my family and creatives, so it’s always been inspiring to do that," she said.

And Tara said collaborating with other artists makes it even more rewarding.

“Not only do I get to express myself on these walls but I get to talk to other artists that express what they're going through, so it’s kind of like one big therapy session," said Tara.

Two minutes away down Oleander Avenue are murals painted by another Creative Crossing artist, Chris Perez. Chris said he knew he wanted to create art after winning a fourth grade contest.

“It’s been a journey with art, I guess you could say. It’s been a real journey . It’s always been there for me and I’m thankful for that. I’m glad I'm able to do this and, I don't know, I guess try to inspire others to do it too," said Chris.

Chris said, just like Tara, he finds art therapeutic.

“It takes your mind away from kind of everything because you’re so focused on doing it right that everything just kind of fades out and you have to enjoy that moment," he said.

And he has a personal connection to the mural he’s working on for a homeowner.

“His grandfather actually flew the B-17 bombers, the ones around the corner and that one up there. So he flew them and I guess his dad had a strong connection with it of course and then it’s like a family thing I guess. And I get that, you know. I mean I have family that served in the military too," said Chris.

Creative Crossing co-founder Sarah Nobles says Tara and Chris have been around since the organization first began about a year ago.

"They were one of the first artists that we actually worked with. They completed beautiful murals and were just really inspiring to work with and so they’ve really been our, you know, founding members to start," said Sarah.

Co-founder Kei Deragon says their selflessness is inspiring.

"They could [be] somewhere trying to just make money off this and they are donating their time and talent to their community to beautify their community, and not asking for anything back," said Kei.

We’re always looking for the next person to feature in Kern’s Kindness. If you have someone in mind, email us your idea at kernskindness@kero.com.