City students invited to social justice mural kickoff today

Three murals, a student art show, and a craft sale – just in time for Mother’s Day – are all underway on campus this week


Alfredo Diaz, an artist with 3B Collective, stretches a can of spray paint toward a stenciled pattern, beginning the new mural on the AH Building at City College on May 2. Students are invited to a kickoff event on May 4 for the new art piece, which is being spearheaded by the Sankofa committee. Photo by Kathy Archibald/City Times Media

Kathy Archibald, Enterprise Editor

San Diego City College is offering students a front-row seat to the mural making process.

The geometric art piece with layers of symbolism is being coordinated through City’s Sankofa committee, which organizes the annual Social Justice and Education Conference.

The kickoff event is on May 4 from 2-5 p.m. on the AH Building ramp near the Saville Theatre. 

Students who show up for the kickoff will get swag bags, food and possibly a chance to participate in the artistic process.

The event is open to all students, including those not enrolled in art classes, according to Zenia Torres, an administrative assistant for the School of Mathematics, Science and Nursing Education at City and a member of the Sankofa committee.

The mural arose through the City public art process, involving multiple campus committees in collaboration with 3B Collective, a group of Los Angeles-based artists and designers.

3B Collective functions as a creative community and peer support group for Chicano, Latino and Indigenous artists, according to Oscar Magallanes, who helped create the group with fellow UCLA undergraduate students.

Through collaboration with City students, the group developed a design referencing a multitude of issues, Magallanes said. The work addresses modernism in architecture and the cement face of the community building, Mayan traditions and modern Mexican and Indigenous voices, water protectors, and a tree of life or axis mundi, among other iconography.

Magallanes said the mural, which is being created using adhesive stencils, will also incorporate the Mayan phrase “In Lak’ech Ala K’in,” meaning “You are my other me. What I do onto you, I do onto myself.”

Torres said the mural is anticipated to be completed by May 6 or 7.

More murals, the student art show and a craft sale are also underway this week at San Diego City College. Here’s the run-down.

New murals beautify the AH garage

Upon entering the AH Building garage, drivers are now greeted with a mural designed by former City student and Kumeyaay artist Kenneth Banks.

Banks layered traditional Native American forms interspersed with figures, which to him hold deep personal meaning, into a colorful, earthy pattern. 

Beyond the Kumeyaay mural, threatened birds adorn a long wall at the back of the garage, a work in progress in coordination with the City College Audubon Club.

Yvette Dibos stretches her paintbrush to a bird on a long mural with various framed birds, while Laura Sanchez stands back and looks at another bird painting.
Yvette Dibos (left), a City College sculpture instructor, helps paint the new bird mural in the AH Building garage on May 1 while Laura Sanchez, a studio arts major at City, assesses her progress on a bird. Photo by Kathy Archibald/City Times Media

Keep an eye on the City Gallery Instagram page for opportunities to help paint this mural, and look for more murals popping up in the AH garage in the future. 

Student art exhibition wraps up

The City Art Student Exhibition at the City Gallery in the AH Building will be open to the public through May 5. 

The gallery will feature juried work by current City art students, according to the City Gallery website

City Gallery is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m.

Crafts on sale May 4-5

City students and faculty will be selling craft pieces on May 4 from 2-7 p.m. and May 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the AH Building patio just in time for Mother’s Day.

The sales will benefit the City Clay Club, according to the flyer for the event on the City Gallery website.