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Artist chosen for Racial Equity Mural in downtown Redwood City

Bay Area artist's $100,000 design includes references to the Ohlone people, as well as Mexican rancheros, Japanese immigrants and modern-day protestors
Full rendering of Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith's proposed Racial Equity Mural

Artist Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith has been tapped to complete a new mural representing Redwood City’s commitment to racial equity.

In a unanimous vote during Monday night’s meeting, the city council selected Wolfe-Goldsmith to create a Racial Equity Mural at the Jefferson underpass. Wolfe-Goldsmith, an Oakland-based muralist and creative director for the Bay Area Mural Program (BAMP), was awarded a flat rate amount of $100,000 for the project. 

“Creating an equitable world requires telling an honest recount of history and sharing our hopes and dreams for the future,” she wrote in her application. “My design is a balance of these ideas, illustrating historical travesties alongside accomplishments and visions. The design I am presenting has a non-linear timeline where stories weave in and out of each other.”

The renderings for her mural include many references to the Ramaytush Ohlone, the Indigenous people of San Mateo County, as well as Mexican rancheros, Japanese immigrants and modern-day protestors.

Wolfe-Goldsmith added that she plans to host public meetings to source stories from residents. She also wants to use locals as direct inspiration—using original photos as references and hiring community members to pose for her mural.

The idea for the mural came in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, after which the city council adopted a resolution in support of Black Lives Matter and racial equity. As a symbolic gesture, the city asked the Redwood City Arts Commission to lead the creation of a mural or monument that would further the dialogue around racial justice.

Over the course of several months, the Racial Equity Steering Committee sought community feedback on selection criteria and mural locations and reviewed all artist applicants, narrowing their pool of 25 down to two finalists, Wolfe-Goldsmith and Lucia Gonzalez Ippolito. 

The mural is slated to be completed no later than Sept. 1.


Leah Worthington

About the Author: Leah Worthington

Leah, a Menlo Park native, joined the Redwood City Pulse in 2021. She covers everything from education and climate to housing and city government. Previously she worked as the online editor for California magazine in Berkeley and co-hosts a podcast.
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