Featuring a portrait of a young woman wearing a mask, the mural is based on a photograph of the artists sister-in-law, a health care worker living and working in El Centro. Different types of flowers are painted around the portrait to symbolize remembrance of those lost to COVID-19, change, and new beginnings. The mural is painted in colors and patterns that are synonymous with the Latinx community. Harm reduction messaging is written in Spanish-and English-language at the right side of the mural, where residents have begun inscribing notes to loved ones they’ve lost during the pandemic.
Ernesto Yerena Montejano was born in El Centro, CA, a mid- sized farming town bordering Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Fueled by his cross-national upbringing, his art practice reflects his observations of the views and interactions between the Mexican communities living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The artist shares narratives of his conflicts of identity that he feels are kindred to what many Chicanos of these communities experience. Although Yerena identifies as Chicano he also strongly identifies as Native/Indigenous to this continent which is often seen in his work. His work depicts his frustrations with the oppression in his community as well as creating work in solidarity with the community in the defense of dignity and rights. Through his imagery, the artist brings political concerns to light with subject matter that depicts cultural icons, rebels and everyday people voicing their stance against oppression. In 2008 Yerena created the Hecho Con Ganas publishing project in which he produces politically and socially conscious images that are produced in limited edition silkscreen prints. Highly recognized for his activism, Yerena is the founder and curator of the Alto Arizona Art campaign (2010) as well as a founding member of the We Are Human campaign (2009). Yerena has collaborated on many thought provoking projects which include artists Zack de la Rocha, Shepard Fairey, Manu Chao, Ana Tijoux, Philip Lumbang, Jaque Fragua, Diane Ovalle, Chuck D, and Mochilla.
Follow the artist
Explore more projects
Somali Family Service
Displayed at community events, vaccine clinics, and health fairs.
Artfully Wrapped Electric Cars – Various Artists/Lideres Campesinas
Displayed on Lideres Campesinas’ vehicles traveling throughout the Sacramento, CA area.
“COVID-19 Through Our Eyes: Indigenous Perspectives” Art Exhibit –Santiago Savi & Various Artists/Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP)
Displayed at MICOP office in Oxnard, CA
“Get Vaccinated” Song – Various Artists/Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California
Displayed digitally via PWC social media pages.
“Love in Action” Community Mural – Jennifer Williams – Cordova/All of Us or None
Displayed in Old Town Kern in Bakersfield, CA.
“Happy Day Again” Song & Music Video – Tony Nguyen/California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
Displayed on CHNSC social media pages and website.
Watercolor Paintings – Health Education Council
Displayed at Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento through April 2022.
“Flourishing Out of a Pandemic” Digital Art Piece – Kaylene Moua/Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP)
Displayed digitally via HIP social media pages, website & email, and in regional HIP offices.
Elena Lourenco (Lead Artist), Natalia Mendoza, and Isabel Gonzalez
219 E Fourth St. Santa Ana and various Lending Library locations
A Space Between Us
Various locations and A Space Between Us throughout San Bernardino County
20-mile route through South and East Los Angeles
Palomares Blvd Art Carrito in El Monte
Various locations throughout El Monte
COMUNIDAD: Juntos Salvamos Vidas
Juntos Salvamos Vidas
Anjelica Muro/Hector Mendoza Anguiano
Various locations throughout Monterey County
San Joaquin Valley Latinx Music and Poetry for Covid-19 Prevention
Juan Felipe Herrera, Leonel Mendoza, and Carmencristina Moreno
Project produced by Alliance for California Traditional Arts
Various locations throughout the Central Valley
Safety First & Break Free
Serge Gay Jr.
2390 Market St. San Francisco (intersection of Market and Castro)
Birds on a Wire/Lessons from Nature
Turtle Bay Exploration Park, 844 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding