Local mural artist Christian Garcia helps indigenous Chico

Christian Garcia In front of a flicker bird, Fox and foliage at the mural painting on Second St and Ceder St Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

If you were to drive past the corner of Second Street and Cedar Street here in Chico, you might have seen a new mural being worked on bearing the image of a bear and flicker bird surrounded by foliage. Well, this work of art was done by none other than local artist Christian Garcia. Garcia is best known for his captivating mural work. He has worked on many local murals in town. He just recently completed a mural on 20th and Fair Street.

“It was one of the largest murals I’ve done so far in Chico,” Garcia said. “I’ve had a lot of experience working collaboratively with a lot of artists that are local.”

Garcia got his start by doing graffiti when he was younger. This eventually evolved his art. Garcia stated finding ways to make his art appealing and shareable with everyone.

“A lot of my work transitioning to a conscious effort,” Garcia said, “thinking of ways to represent ideas that I’m passionate about or topics of interest that I think the world needs to see.”

The mural being worked on is a collaboration between Garcia and Ali Menders-Knight, a local artist and activist who put Garcia on the project after meeting at an art exhibit at The Museum of Northern California Art (monca).

“She was able to obtain the wall and permission for us to do the mural,” Garcia said. “I wanted to contribute what I could, add my own art take to create something relevant.”

Knight had put together the project after having done previous designs of a Mechoopda village. After meeting with local business owners, the site of the mural was settled on a local vending machine company. The mural itself represents the indigenous people of the area. The hope is to educate the community about the indigenous people living in Chico.

Garcia’s process when working on a new mural is first figuring out what direction he wants to take the art and what he is trying to represent.

“I look at a lot of imagery and figure out what it is that (has) beautiful aesthetics,” he said, “seeing how it appeals and can be put together.”

Garcia is a big fan of mixed media, using materials like chalk to draft lines or to draw images out, and to spray paint, which is what he used to create 95 percent of the mural.

“Mixing media gives it a different element and aspect when you create a lot of different techniques,” Garcia said.

When it comes to the question of how someone gets started in this line of work, Garcia has some very valuable advice.

“Put in the work, the time and effort,” he said. “Start small. When you start building a portfolio in different areas, approach your local businesses and small areas that you want to propose a mural, and (when you) work on something like that, you earn the right to get bigger projects and delivering the work you show someone.”

The current mural can be found on the corner of Second Street and Cedar Ave across from the Breakfast Buzz.

Christian Garcia can be found on his Facebook page Christian Garcia as well as on Instagram @594evah.

Alex Coba can be reached at [email protected] or @ThatOneGuyCoba on Twitter