'Vallejo Rising' mural
touts city's ascendancy
By Lanz Christian Bañes
01:01:16 AM PST
Champaygne Tafoya holds her 9 month-old nephew Andrew Soriano as
he touches the face of Joey Tafoya during the dedication of the 'Vallejo
Rising' mural on Saturday in downtown Vallejo. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)
For one Vallejo mother,
a downtown mural dedicated Saturday was more than just bright colors and neat
was a way for Champaygne Tafoya's son to live again.
makes me happy that he's going to be on this wall forever," said Tafoya as
she stood near the portrait of her son Joseph "Joey" Tafoya III, who
was struck and killed by a garbage truck in November while riding his
12-year-old is not the only Vallejoan immortalized on the mural at Georgia and
Marin streets, titled "Vallejo Rising."
four months of work and community input, local artist and Peoples High School
teacher Alvaro Garcia also included others who lost their lives. They include
musician Dewey Tucker, 24, one of Garcia's former students. Tucker was shot to
death on Interstate 80 while driving to a rehearsal nearly two years ago on
Jan. 12, 2010.
mural, covering most of the west wall of 401 Georgia St., was approved by the
Youth Commission this summer and completed last week. Showing images of an
ascendant Vallejo, the most prominent symbol of the artwork is a white lotus
with "hope" written in various languages on its petals.
just incredible," Garcia said of the community reaction to the mural.
members helped paint the mural and gave input as to what went in the blank
spaces between Garcia's main images, including butterflies, dogs and words of
all goes as planned, "Vallejo Rising" will be the first of many
murals that will
brighten the city. Already, Garcia has received permission to extend the mural
into the rear of the building at 401 Georgia St.
hopes to create a "healing wall" that will again involve community
wall in this town should be painted," said local artist Harold Beaulieu,
who helped with the mural.
those who plan to work on the healing wall is Edd Arreguin, 20, who painted the
word "Rising" in the "Vallejo Rising" mural.
coming out nice," Arreguin said.
Contact staff writer Lanz Christian Bañes at (707) 553-6833 or