“Sanación a Madre Tierra” (healing of mother earth), Roots Art Kollective’s contribution to South Salt Lake’s Mural Fest 2021, emerged out of the difficult times of 2020.
“We all went through some really hard times last year,” says RAK, “so we asked our followers on Instagram to give us their feedback and give a phrase or word of inspiration, growth, and communal healing.” The calligraphy in the background of the mural found on the west wall of the Mr. Muffler store (105 W. 2100 South), features those words of positive affirmation. In the background, a yucca symbolizes communal growth and the beauty of a flower growing in a harsh environment, while the patterns and mandala are meant to represent the blooming of a new time.
“As the Roots Art Kollective, we wanted to bring this message of renewal to the South Salt Lake Mural Festival 2021. Not only for the event but for our local communities to come together in healing,” says the trio of artists.
Roots Arts Kollective met six years ago during a mural project in West Jordan painting Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. After that they began painting together intermittently, but really took things seriously a couple of years ago. “We found that our unique combination of styles was really interesting and we wanted to pursue it together.”
They come from different backgrounds in ecology, art teaching, and graphic design and each brings something unique to the table. Luis Novoa loves letterings and takes care of the calligraphy components. Alan Ochoa specializes in realism and enjoys painting the natural and organic parts of a wall, while Miguel Galaz has a special place in his heart for historical patterns and symbols.
“The power of collaboration cannot be stressed enough, we are grateful to be working with each other even with any extra work that comes with collaboration,” they say. “Painting murals has been a roller coaster of emotions, every mural we paint has its own problems and it’s nice when we find a solution. We feel like we learn something new every time we paint. One of the biggest enjoyments that we have is that we have the privilege of creating public art. We also love the power that public art has to make connections and inspire our local communities.”
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