"Crepúsculo con roble," Finca Tres Robles
Using art as an approach to strengthen community health, this project both helps support the work and initiatives of Finca Tres Robles urban farm by beautifying their farm space with a mural and providing an opportunity for neighbors in the Second Ward and Magnolia Park to spend time building relationships with each other through art while considering their health in relation to art and the fresh food growing around them.
Public art and the role it plays in the health and vibrance of a community is often significantly undervalued. Traditionally, health and art are not seen as synonymous and yet the impact art can have, particularly on community health, should not be understated. Having spent time at Finca Tres Robles, I quickly recognized that my mural work overlapped with their mission and work and saw an opportunity for my art to contribute to the important conversations surrounding community health the farm was promoting in the Second Ward, Magnolia Park, and East End neighborhoods. With our shared belief that being rooted in a place and embedded in a community facilitates opportunities in health, this project collaboration with Finca Tres Robles focuses on how to empower a community to use art and the resources at their urban farm for healing, creating healthy habits, and establishing a place for neighborhoods to come together.
Art is one of the most accessible ways to create conversations, provide some beauty to healing spaces like the farm, and build resilience in a community. By artistically investing in their urban green space and inviting the community to get involved, we want to inspire current and future generations in the Second Ward and Magnolia Park to invest more fully in their health.
The Second Ward, Magnolia Park, and East End community are predominantly Latinx and face many challenges surrounding health with limited access to fresh food and few resources to support living a healthy lifestyle. Finca Tres Robles is located in the Second Ward just on the edge of Magnolia Park where they sustainably grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables to be sold directly to individuals and families in these neighborhoods. They have worked to make their fresh produce accessible and affordable to the immediate East End community as a way to begin to challenge the food system of the neighborhood, to build community, and to keep money here in the immediate local economy.
I have had a long-standing relationship with the neighborhood by painting a number of murals in it, by living in it, and curating art related to it. This collaboration will help provide another space for area residents that emphasizes health, community, and creativity to create conversations around issues that the neighborhood faces. We hope that it will be a meeting space for various neighbors, organizations, and anyone in the Houston area who is interested in fresh produce to get involved in building a healthier city.