Photo courtsey of Anna Mazurek (@AnnaMazurekPhoto)
Chroma Collective is a group of creatives dedicated to empowering young artists, uplifting the voices of our community, and creating artworks that are dedicated to placekeeping practices.
With more and more young people pursuing alternative career paths, Chroma Collective was designed to fill the gap in creative mentorship and professional development and expand pathways for leadership in the arts. Participants have the opportunity to:
- Increase artistic skill through sustained practice
- Connect with working artists within Creative Action and the greater Austin community
- Develop tangible workforce skills like budgeting for projects, submitting calls for art, and working with clients
- Learn best practices in creating public art that is anti-racist, anti-colonial, and focused on placekeeping
- Expand knowledge about the creative sector including gallery and arts space management, project management, and community engagement
Each year, Chroma accepts 2-4 muralists who are alumni of its sister program, Color Squad. The cohort works closely with Creative Action’s Staff Muralist to complete up to 10 projects for a variety of clients, including city contracts, corporate clients, individual or private projects, and community organizations.
Two Walls: 242’x2’ | 3601 Govalle Ave | 2023
Govalle’s Garden was a collaboration between Chroma Collective and the fourth graders of Govalle Elementary. Through a six-week guided curriculum, the students learned about murals and public art, as well as the importance of local pollinators and the native plants they support. The resulting mural is a combination of adult and student artwork that showcases the spirit of the Govalle community and landscape. This project was sponsored by a Bright Green Futures grant from the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability.
ACC Amplify Center Murals
Spaces for Healing | 2022
Chroma Collective was tasked to make a mural that would brighten up the new Amplify Center at ACC Eastview. In order to reflect healing and positivity within the space, they decided to research art for hospitals and other therapeutic spaces. They found that statistically, images of nature and bright color schemes have an uplifting effect on viewers. The final designs take inspiration from floral wallpaper and botanical illustrations, especially medicinal herbs and flowers. They hope the murals will provide comfort for those on their healing journey.
Tribute to Professor Friendly R. Rice
12th and Airport | 2022
This piece is the first in our series of art boxes dedicated to Blackshear Elementary and its former Principal Professor Friendly R. Rice. Located across the street from Evergreen Cemetery where he is laid to rest, this piece serves to highlight the historical impact Professor Rice has and continues to have on Austin.
This series is a collaboration with E4 Youth who created an accompanying video piece which can be found at https://e4va.e4youth.org/
4809 Bolm rd | 61’ x 7’ | 2022
Three Sisters is a collaboration between Chroma Collective and the young artists of Govalle Elementary. During the 2021-2022 school year, the Govalle Elementary students made artwork with the guidance of their teacher, Ariel Kay, that expressed their desire for a better world. They created prints, collages, and zines that voiced the need for a healthy planet, racial equality, and better living conditions for all humans and animals. Emblazoned on the entrance to their school reads a mosaic, “plant seed of kindness,” a motto the students truly embody. Chroma Collective took this inspiration and created Three Sisters, a mural on Bolm Road in Austin, Texas. Three Sisters represents the indigenious gardening system of planting squash, corn, and beans together. Using this method, the qualities of each plant serve the other, protecting each other from pests and sun and nourishing the soil. As a metaphor for community, Three Sisters features imagery of plants and people existing in harmony, and the motto “plant seeds of kindness” as a nod to the community that exists both at Govalle Elementary and the Govalle neighborhood as a whole.
What Do You Miss About East Austin?
1106 E 11th st | 2022
Located next to one of East Austin’s oldest and most culturally important places, Victory Grill, this mural was created as a part of the “What Once Was” project, a program of E4 Youth. The Chroma Collective worked to memorialize some of the places that were important in shaping East Austin into what it is and was. Many of these community cornerstones are no longer here, such as TarryTown, Jumpoline and many others. By including this with the interactive prompt “What Do You Miss About East Austin?” we hope to remind the viewers of the people and places that once made up this neighborhood. This mural was sponsored by Six Square, and organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the historic legacy of the African American community that once thrived in Central East Austin.
A Garden Daydream
1411 S Commerce 78644, Lockhart TX | 2022
A Garden Daydream was commissioned by Dig Together, a gardening education non-profit serving Williamson county. The color palette and imagery were created to convey the feeling of growth in spring, and is meant to keep that spirit alive year round. We hope to inspire those within the community to start their own gardens, and appreciate the hard work that goes into it.
Chroma Collective in collaboration with Color Squad members Eva Davis and Carmen Garcia
5110 Manor Rd | 2021 | 116’ wide by 6’ tall
United Horizons is a mural that seeks to represent the various communities that make up Austin’s rich cultural landscape. Though this mural illustrates various languages and places of origin that comprise our population, the true end goal is to show the ways these communities connect with each other, celebrating and honoring differences, while bringing neighbors together.
East Austin’s Melody
East Link Mural at Rosewood Park
2021 | 21’ x 8’
East Austin’s Melody is a mural based on Mr. Van Dyke’s recollections as a member of the East Austin community since the 1950s. Mr. Van Dyke found his passion for music at a young age. Of course, it didn’t hurt that his Aunt, Juanita Van Dyke was a music teacher who wrote the Blackshear Elementary School song.
Community activities weren’t something strange for the Manor/Downs Field and Rosewood Park area. As he fondly recalls, music was not just an important part of his life but of his community’s as well. He remembers getting together every Friday at the park during the summertime to play music for the neighborhood.
“A lot of people, real people, lived in that community. This is what those people who lived in East Austin built. This is what they produced. And that it was worth something”
– Mr. Van Dyke
Made in collaboration with: Mylo Mendez, Lead Artist, and Color Squad Alumni Elle Hebert, Quinn Erickson, Aye Aye, Louisa Najar, and Maxwell Wood
Native Hostel and Bar & Cafe, 807 E. 4th St.
This public art project is presented by Creative Action, an Austin-based arts education non-profit organization, in partnership with Facebook Open Arts. The mural was created by lead artist Mylo Mendez in conversation with members of Color Squad, a collective of teenage artists who design and implement public art around issues of sustainability, community, and equity.
Meet The Artists:
Mylo Mendez, Staff Muralist
Mylo makes illustrations influenced by Mexican folk art, Mayan and Aztec design, and the color palettes of the Southwestern United States as a means of exploring their identity. By connecting to the past through artmaking and design, they investigate contemporary Mexican American experience and its relationship to heritage, family, and politics. Mylo holds an MFA from the Parson’s School of Design.
Lindsay Palmer, Director of Public Art
Lindsay was the founding Director of Color Squad from 2014-2021, and managed several large-scale public art projects during her tenure there. She has her BFA from Texas Tech University and MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a focus in Sculpture. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally at galleries including Box 13 in Houston TX, The Ice Box Gallery, in Iceland, The University of Texas, San Antonio, as well as projects for Austin Art in Public Places.