Photos on this page are provided courtesy of Don Gosney, Richmond Love Your Block, and KCRT.
The Rancho Market Mural Project started out with a small proposal: giving a light paint job to a historic landmark and community hub in North Richmond. With immense support from partners, the community, and Rancho Market store owner Lucky Braimah, it quickly grew into something much larger than we had anticipated.
At-a-Glance: Rancho Market Mural Project
Phase 1: Rancho Market Paint Party
Phase 2: "Fabric of Unity" Mural
About Rancho Market & Deli
Rancho Market & Deli is located at 500 Market Ave in unincorporated Contra Costa County. The market is the only grocery store in the surrounding area that does not sell alcohol. It is a prominent spot frequented by children who attend Verde Elementary School - the only school in North Richmond - and has always been at the heart of community activity.
The walls of the market formerly served as a public memorial, displaying handwritten names of North Richmond residents whose lives were cut short by street violence. Several years ago, the memorial was painted over, and as time passed the paint aged and began to chip.
Rancho Market Paint Party
On October 28, 2017, Love Your Block and Office of Supervisor John Gioia hosted a community-wide paint party at Rancho Market in North Richmond. Over 30 volunteers came out throughout the day, painting about 3,200 square footage of the walls and cleaning up about 40 pounds of trash.
We received tremendous support from local organizations and businesses, and the transformation would not have been possible without them.
The Start of a Mural
In fall of 2017, creative artist Richard Muro Salazar applied for and was awarded the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission's Neighborhood Public Art Grant to paint a mural on Rancho Market. The project was proposed to be in collaboration with the store owner, Lucky Braimah, and residents as well as multiple agencies, including Love Your Block, the Office of Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, and Community Housing Development Corporation. Richard also brought on board artist Vanessa "Agana" Espinoza and hired local mural apprentices Alfonso Leon, Jahira Fragozo, and Jacinto Mingura.
In February and March of 2018, we hosted 3 brainstorming sessions and distributed surveys at community meetings and in front of Rancho Market to get residents' input on the design of the mural. During this time, we received suggestions from over 100 North Richmond residents and community members. The artists also convened several sketch sessions to work on the mural design.
Community Paint Day During the 8th Annual North Richmond Earth Day
After months of planning and visioning, Richard produced the final mural design, calling it "Fabric of Unity".The design weaves in the fabric patterns of various cultures that have been present in North Richmond, as well as its rich cultural history. Historical elements include the Kaiser shipyards, jazz culture, and the Black Panthers.
On April 21, 2018, the project team hosted the Rancho Market Community Paint Day as one of the three community service projects for the 8th Annual North Richmond Earth Day. Richard outlined the mural design, and volunteers of all ages and skill levels painted the design in. The team hosted another Community Paint Day the following day. Over the two day period, over 30 volunteers joined us to leave their mark on the mural.
Then, Richard, Agana, and apprentices Alfonso, Jahira, and Jacinto began refining and adding details to the approximately 2000 square ft mural.
"Fabric of Unity" Mural Ribbon-Cutting & Block Party
On May 11, 2018, we celebrated the completion of the mural with a ribbon-cutting and block party on Market Ave, in front of the store. Guest speakers included store owner Lucky Braimah, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, Arts & Culture Manager Michele Seville, and of course, project manager Richard Muro Salazar! We had live entertainment, kids' activities, food, and resource booths representing about 20 organizations. Over 100 guests came out to celebrate the preservation and beautification of Rancho Market.