Sam Rodriguez embedded himself in a San Jose, CA community for a new, collaborative mural project, along with a gallery show at Empire Seven Studios, which is on view through August, 2017.
Likening the murals to journalism, Rodriguez says, “When I think of murals, I think of outdoor books. This recent wall marks the first of many that I plan to do, which would depict the cultural landscape of San Jose through observations and interviews of its residents. This will result in pieces that could only be found in San Jose.”
Rodriquez was assisted in the execution of the wall by community volunteers, which freed up Rodriquez to focus on the portraits and more technical aspects of the mural. “A lot of the people who helped out cared as much, if not more, about the painting than I did,” the artist says. “They held up the standards as I would for my own paintings.” Some of the youth involved in an intervention program (Teaching Adolescents Skills in the Community), who worked on the mural, came back after the mural was finished and proudly showed family members their work.