When the world seems dark and scary, we need each other. We need ways to connect, to support each other, to create a common vision. Danielle Fodor does this with her art.
I met Danielle on a visit to California; she hosted my husband and I on our trip to learn about olive trees at UC Davis. I love Danielle's work and am impressed by her way of working.
Danielle is a muralist in Davis, CA. She lives with her son Raul and her husband Luis in a housing co-op unit. We fell in love with bright inquisitive Raul, who is being home schooled!
One neighborhood asked Danielle to help them design a mural for their street. Danielle gathered ideas from everyone, asking what they value, what they want their neighborhood to be like. People said birds are important, and creativity, and nature. One man grows bamboo and many of the neighbors host his bamboo plants in front of their houses. A lovely oak tree graces the corner where the mural would be. A cat wanders around the neighborhood making friends with everyone. The mural was to be painted on the pavement in a wide circle area where the road takes a sharp left.
Danielle's design included all these ideas. She made stencils of flowers, birds, cat, bees. Bamboo on the pavement "grew" out from bamboo in front of a house on the corner. In front of another house, an oak tree spread it's branches on the pavement design. Here was a cat, there was a bird. Was that a dolphin representing creativity? Nope, Danielle says:
there is no dolphin as it turns out, but a hummingbird who represents creativity reaching out into the city. But you can leave it if you like. I like dolphins, too!! And that's your role as the observer, seeing what you see. There is a fish -- a mosquito fish. The aquatic side turns into the neighborhood, which represent the quieter side of turning into our homes, observing, resting, nurturing ourselves.
In the middle of it all, there is a huge joyous yellow flower surrounded by orange ones!
Danielle helped the community chalk the design onto the pavement and handed everyone a brush and a paint can. When the mural was finished, people did not want to stop. In keeping with their value of creativity, they used the stencils and left over paint to decorate their driveways!
A friend took this video with a little drone:
The photos are from the Davis Media page, except for the bottom two, which are mine.