Watsonville, CA is often known for its rich agricultural production, especially for its strawberries. But beyond the fields, Watsonville is also a city with a strong commitment to public art and a legacy of social activism. Notable highlights include: The United Farm Workers organizing in the early 1970s to improve working conditions for farmworkers, the Cannery Strike between 1985-1987 for fair wages and benefits, and the annual Peace & Unity March against gang violence which has mobilized the community for the past twenty-two years.
These social movements and calls for justice have been memorialized by community based artists in the form of murals that adorn many of the public schools, civic buildings, resource centers, and businesses throughout the city. Moreover, many of these murals make visible the often invisible laborers that cultivate the very fruit that this town is known for while also celebrating the regional and cultural pride that residents have cultivated in Watsonville.
This project attempts to archive the existing murals, give long overdue credit to the people who have made Watsonville, CA a mural capital, and to share the stories and people behind the public art that beautify and activate this city.
The photos displayed here are not a complete record of all of the murals in Watsonville as some have already been removed and more recent ones have yet to be archived.