The New Mural on Jefferson Avenue brings people together

New mural on Jefferson Avenue brings people together

in Community/Featured/Headline

Sitting next to the Box Building and adjacent to the Sequoia Station shopping center, the piece covers approximately 4,700 square feet on the wall beneath the Jefferson Avenue underpass. The artwork by Oakland painter Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith is billed as an “equity mural,” designed to show Redwood City’s commitment to social justice.

Wolfe-Goldsmith wrote on the website of the city’s Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department that she wanted to “tell an honest recount of history” to share “our hopes and dreams for the future.” The artist added that she wanted to illustrate “historical travesties alongside accomplishments.”

For example, the mural sums up World War II by picturing “Rosie the Riveter,” a popular illustrated character who symbolized U.S. women who worked in military factories. It also depicts the internment of people of Japanese ancestry, along with a segment showing the chrysanthemum fields Japanese Americans cultivated in Redwood City before being forced from their homes. Their success as flower growers in the first half of the 20th Century gained Redwood City the nickname of “the chrysanthemum capital of the world.”

The dedication was held in front of City Hall, just feet away from a monument that lists the names of Redwood City residents killed in World War II.

Art Commissioner Ashley Quintana says she hopes the mural will enhance Redwood City’s sense of shared heritage.

“I’m a strong believer that art brings people together, and that’s exactly what this mural does,” Quintana says.

This story first appeared in the January edition of Climate Magazine