JUNE 6, 2007
Calendar cover art
I've been working for the folks at the Bay Area Alternative Press in Berkeley, CA for some years now. All the painting time and final art are donated. Many great illustrators contribute, when asked, every year to create a calendar highlighting the struggles of migrant farm workers and their families. They along with The Academy of Art tried to fly me out to the Bay Area for long time and for what ever reasons (pneumonia) I've had to cancel my trip a couple of times. However, this past September I finally removed the hex over this trip and flew out to the Bay Area for the first time ever. I was blown away at how cool San Francisco is and what a gorgeous landscape it sits on.
Matt Marsh who was the director of the BAAP had arranged over that weekend for me and my now wife ,Sarah, to go with him one afternoon into Stockton(which was a little more than an hour east by car) and meet up with some folks at the National Farm Workers Association and then to the farm labor camps. They brought with them some donated clothes and food for the families of these farm workers. They were all so gracious and good people to the core. Not the kind of junk you hear from people who are out to scapegoat them politically. They were hard working families who were dedicated to there work and their work is hard. It's also unimaginably hot there!!!
I wanted to highlight this gentleman who was gather grapes off the vines. He had a great quality of light poking through that straw hat. These workers were the stewards of the this nation's salad bowl, not the profiteers, so I wanted to show a solidarity with the field and the worker, thus the solidarity fist of vines.