It started with a wall.
Not really, it actually started with a group of artists.
And community members. They got together in Atascadero and formed The Equality Mural Project. It is a public art project dedicated to adding 10 murals to downtown Atascadero depicting different aspects of EQUALITY.
Did we mention that Victoria Carranza is a part of the Equality Mural Project? And that she is also a part of the SLO Beaver Brigade?
The Equality Mural Project called for art submissions and received one titled “Nature is for Everyone” with a wetland scene, by Brandy Lee Pippin.
It’s pretty cool, huh? Then, ever so subtly, Victoria Carranza asked if a beaver could be a part of the wetland scene. This is what Brandy came up with.
Next thing you know, the SLO Beaver Brigade was washing, prepping and priming the wall of Bru Coffeehouse in Downtown Atascadero, out of sheer LOVE. Could we have been any more excited!? Could The Equality Mural Project have been any more excited?! We didn’t think so, until we met Brandy.
Brandy arrived after we completed the priming of the wall. She thanked us for prepping the wall and told us what a great job we did (even with our less-than-professional work). She welcomed us to help paint part of the mural. She didn’t even react when we’d drip grey paint down an already painted brown patch. “It’s okay!”, she said. Many times. How did she tolerate us!?
Not only that, she loved hearing about beavers! She even brought her 1 year old son, husband, father and mother out to the beaver dam with us one night to see if we could see our Atascadero beavers. (Apparently bringing a 1 yo and a 2 yo doesn’t exactly draw the beavers out of their lodge). But even so, Brandy didn’t mind and thanked us for showing her the beaver pond. She couldn’t have been more gracious. I would’ve been a stressed out mess if I was responsible for painting a wall, but not Brandy. She was cool as can be, taking it all in stride, delighted to have any help at all. And we got to be a part of this amazing mural, that puts a smile on our face every time we drive by it. It was truly a love fest. One that keeps on giving.
I was at Bru last week, and in the 10 minutes I was standing out side looking at the mural, 2 cars pulled over to take photos of the mural and one mom & daughter duo walked by, pointing up at the egret on the mural, exclaiming how beautiful this wall was.
And luckily for us, Brandy’s parents live in SLO County so she and her husband Travis and son Emmet will be returning to the area. A lot. I’m excited to get to see them again, and revisit the wall with them when they return. A lot. It was that kinda fun.
And The Equality Mural Project? I think it’s safe to say they’ve grown to love the SLO Beaver Brigade. Did I mention it was a love fest?
And it doesn’t even stop there. The painting of the mural is just the beginning. Last week, Wes and Margie of the Santa Barbara Beaver Brigade made a trip to Atascadero, yes, you guessed it, to come and see the beaver mural! And we sat and talked for, I don’t know, 5 or 6 hours and shared stories and dreams and visions and LOVE for beavers and water and life.
It’s that kind of mural.