Santa Cruz is known worldwide for its beautiful coastline and incredible access right into the Monterey Bay’s National Marine Sanctuary—where diverse species of whales migrate annually, commercial fishermen harvest our seafood, and extraordinary creatures dwell in the dark depths of the West Coast’s most expansive deep-sea canyon.
To pay homage to the Monterey Bay and its marine life, a new expansive, oceanic mural is planned along Mission Street. In partnership with the Tim Brauch Foundation and Clean Oceans International, the local muralist outfit The Fresh Walls Project has identified the more than 500-foot-long wall along Bay View Elementary School for this educational mural, which will depict a wide variety of sea life and feature a theme of conservation.
“We think of this project not only as a way to help people feel more connected to what’s going on in the Monterey Bay’s waters and all the amazing biodiversity below its surface, but also a way to spark inspiration in our youth so they want to protect all of it,” says Taylor Reinhold, who heads The Fresh Walls Project.
With high-visibility to the general public, the mural, entitled "Healthy Marine Environment,” will showcase illustrations of native aquatic species, their respective tidal habitats, and information defining the threats they face. The enormous art project has the power to beautify Santa Cruz and help create a deeper connection for the community with the Monterey Bay.
“The ‘Healthy Marine Environment’ mural celebrates Santa Cruz’s intimate connection with our precious ocean,” says Clean Oceans International founder Capt. Jim “Homer” Holm. “With a new mural, this wall along Mission Street could help to generate new dialogue and awareness around the health of our oceans.”
This project has been an exciting collaboration between The Fresh Wall Collective, Santa Cruz City Schools, Bay View Elementary and the City of Santa Cruz. To help fund the mural, The Fresh Walls Project is initiating a fundraising campaign for $35,000.
For businesses or individuals interested in supporting the project at a higher level ($500+), a high-visibility section of the wall on Mission Street will be allocated as a “Donors Wall,” where sponsors will have their names showcased as an ongoing thank you from the Fresh Walls team.
The project is poised to begin in May of 2019. “This mural will start the storytelling around our bay in a language (art) that our entire community can understand and share,” says James Cox, of the Newman Foundation, which has contributed capital to the project. “Whenever I see Taylor Reinhold’s work, it brings splashes of incredible color to my day... This mural is a gift for all of us.”
The City of Santa Cruz has contributed funds through their Mural Matching Grant and the Santa Cruz City School District has provided generous in-kind support.
This project will employ local artists and provide a positive outlet for local volunteers who share our mission of raising awareness about the effects our habits have on our oceanic habitats.
Thank you for sharing in our vision, caring for our city and keeping our oceans plastic free.
Fiscal sponsor for the project: The Tim Brauch Foundation 501(c)3 ID # 91-2156501