Klamath, California – The Klamath Justice Coalition, a community group along the Klamath River in Northern California, hosted this Water Writes mural project. The mural is located on the Orleans Market and was painted at the Amayav Exchange, a local farmers market and space for community trade in Orleans, California. Founded in 2009, the space promotes a sustainable economy and food security through local commerce. Weekly open air markets provide a space to exchange locally grown food, home cooked baked and canned goods, arts and crafts and reusable goods.
The mural is a collaboration between local artists, elders, youth, the Water Writes team, and community organizers. Karuk artist, Brian David Tripp painted the woven baskets at the center of the image and played an integral role as an advisor in the project. Educator and artist, Annelia Hillman, painted much of the story of the place and the people and helped to guide the content of the image.
The mural portrays the future history of the removal the dams from the Klamath River. Dancers are painted bringing balance back to the river with their world renewal ceremony. To their left are images of past industry and the effects left on the land and water; mine tailings from hydraulic mining, toxic algae from industrial farming and hydroelectric dams, and the fish kill of 2002. To their right is the vision of a future healthy river after the largest dam removal project in human history is complete; salmon are swimming strong, people are fishing and harvesting, and trade is strengthening the community. Coyote is represented in the center as a catalyst for change. The mural is completed by a frog foot pattern border, to symbolize healing.
Brian David Tripp
Chook Chook Hillman
Nancy Pili Hernandez
Check out our documentation from Klamath on Flickr.com.