Local artists are making it their mission to spread positivity throughout the community by creating murals in alleyways in Bakersfield neighborhoods and this pandemic isn’t stopping them from spreading their message. 23ABC’s Bayne Froney spoke to the artists behind the paintings and what they are trying to accomplish through their work.
Once white walls are now being painted in color to help send a message to the Bakersfield community.
“People need to see that there is positivity in the world," explained Tara Neri, an artist with Creative Crossings. "There is a lot of things that are dark that can bring people down, especially this month is suicide awareness and recovery.”
Creative Crossings is a group of artists that have come together to create murals throughout Bakersfield to spread positivity. And with the pandemic keeping people isolated and feeling uneasy, artists believe that by spreading color across different neighborhoods they can brighten at least one person's day.
“Since there are so many different things going on in the world right now, we figure with our art we can give back and it’s a positive experience for everyone. it’s inspiring for myself as an artist as well and it’s inspiring for the artists that we take in as well,” said Neri.
Creative Crossings has been taking in volunteers and other artists to help paint murals around the city and despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have still been able to continue spreading their message.
“Luckily with projects like this, they’re so big that we can be spread apart from each other and still do what we do,” explained Neri.
The artists create murals free of charge with permission from the business or homeowners of the property. Ana Laura Benitz, an employee at the Ascension Center where one mural is being painted believes that this art can create a huge change in her community.
“Even in these difficult days of COVID-19, we need all the positivity we can get as a community even through art," said Benitz. "And that’s one reason why we donated this particular wall.”
“We just want to make sure that the message is clear," continued Neri. "It’s positive. You can’t come down an alleyway and see this beautiful art and it not change your day.”
If you would like to check out some of the artwork by Creative Crossings there are completed murals on Holtby Road in the alleyway between 1st Street and Verde St. If you would like to volunteer you can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.