Community News

New Mural, “I Am Somebody,” Celebrates Local Community

A once gray and empty wall transformed into a bright and colorful mural with a powerful message: “I Am Somebody. Soy Alguien.”

On Thursday, October 27, 2016, the North Fair Oaks Community Council approved a recommendation from the NFO Public Art Workgroup for a new mural located at 2890 Fair Oaks Avenue, visible to the surrounding residents, businesses, and families who attend Fair Oaks Community School. This wall had problems with graffiti in the past, and the new mural will has add beauty and character to the neighborhood.

The North Fair Oaks Public Art Workgroup selected the mural design after releasing a Call for Artists in September 2016. The workgroup consists of local artists and residents who are passionate about improving the North Fair Oaks community through art, and have brought a number of public art projects to life, including four North Fair Oaks Entrance Sign Sculptures and four utility box murals.

The muralist, Nico Berry, is a long-time Bay Area resident, and has over 20 years of experience “designing and painting large-scale community and commercial murals.” His mural for the North Fair Oaks community, titled “I Am Somebody,” celebrates local community members, and makes a statement about “the presence and power of local residents in a time of displacement.”

Linda Lopez, a North Fair Oaks resident, Council member, and public art workgroup member, said “The message is simple and profound. I want every person who walks by and views this mural to shout out the words, to feel the pride of our proud historical heritage, to stand proud with your community and know you have the personal and collective power to bring about change.”

Kent Manske, also a North Fair Oaks resident, public art workgroup member, and local artist, said “The mural engages each viewer directly by positioning them as the author of a positive message. [The mural] has conceptual longevity as the question posed evolves in meaning throughout an individual’s life and circumstances.”

To learn more about the meaning behind the mural, you can read Nico’s full artist statement, or watch the October 2016 NFO Community Council meeting.

Nico started painting the mural on Monday, January 16, 2017, and finished February 2017. In addition, North Fair Oaks Forward had a community event in partnership with the Fair Oaks Community School and the Public Art Workgroup in early March to celebrate the new mural. 

For more information on Public Art in North Fair Oaks, or to get involved with the North Fair Oaks Public Art Workgroup, please visit our Public Art Website, or contact Maggie Cornejo at 650-363-4084 or macornejo@smcgov.org.