Murals are one of those things that every city has. From murals on the side of small businesses, random walls in the neighborhoods, and even restaurants. Many people appreciate the mural for the looks, but do they think about who painted it?
Jennifer Willams-Cordova is professor at CSU Bakersfield, who teaches graphic design. She has many decorative art pieces and murals around Bakersfield. They are eye-catching with lots of fun and vibrant colors.
“I started about four years ago doing little murals and public artwork. I started with a small mural at a coffee shop called Café Smitten, and it just kind of went from there, and now I get to do these large-scale pieces of public art and it’s really fun,” Cordova said in our interview.
KGET asked her to paint a mural of a peacock representing their logo, but they wanted it to be something that stood out. They let her do her take on the logo.
She wanted it to brighten up that plain and boring wall, so community members could come and look and take pictures with the mural.
Bloom is her biggest project and is underneath the Beal St. overpass and uses a wall and four of the pillars that hold the overpass up. She said it is her favorite piece.
“Bloom will defiantly go down for the rest of my life as one of my all-time favorite projects because it was just a huge community undertaking. It was just transformative for that space, and I’m just still so floured that I was allowed to paint that much concrete … It was dedicated to the girls of East Bakersfield. The girls in the mural live in the community. It brought a lot of people together, and we all felt connected to it, and it just felt really good that something that special came from a group of people that wanted to do this,” Cordova said.
She said it is important to create art. Because of the pandemic, art is a creative outlet and can give people something to look forward to. She emphasized the importance of giving yourself a break from stress and how art allows you to shut your mind off and create.
Cordova gave a few suggestions to those who want to make art part of their career.
“The first step to becoming an artist is to actually create as much art as you can. Then you have to get to the point where you have to charge for your art and actually respect it as a legitimate craft and that will really move you farther along in the process … The key component in actually doing this is treating it like it is valuable,” Cordova said.