January 16, 2013

"Let a Thousand Parks Bloom" mural & Edythe Boone

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For decades I've gone to my favorite place to buy records, Amoeba Music on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. For the last decade or so I've seen and admired a mural in a huge vacant lot (owned by the Regents of the University of Berkeley) across the street from Amoeba on the corner of Haste and Telegraph just down the street from People's Park, the site of the famous 60's protests. I list Haste Street first because the mural is best viewed from there.


(click on any image to see larger size)
"Let a Thousand Parks Bloom" mural
photo by Styrous®

Yesterday, I finally met the woman responsible for the mural. She is Edythe Boone, a lovely woman of 74 years who devotes her life to working as a counselor, a health activist and has taught art at several local schools in addition to the many mural projects she has designed and worked on; and there have been many of them.

 Edythe Boone
 photo by Styrous®

The mural, "Let a Thousand Parks Bloom" was designed by Edythe Boone, Patricia Tripp and Eli Jo Dougherty in 1998. It was Sponsored by the Chaplaincy to the Homeless and painted by homeless volunteers. The mural depicts the stories of the neighborhood's homeless population. And if you've ever walked down Telegraph, you'll see the homeless in abundance. 

She is responsible for the famous "Maestraepeace" mural on the Women’s Building on 18th Street between Valencia and Guerrero in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. She also does what she calls, “guerilla murals”, murals that cover up drug-related graffiti.

In 2010, Edy Boone was honored by the City Council who proclaimed July 13th “Edy Boone Day” in Berkeley.

Boone is the subject of a documentary, "A New Color", by Berkeley filmmaker Marlene "Mo" Morris who raised funds for the movie on Kickstarter

But let my photos of the mural show her work.

photo by Styrous®

photo by Styrous®

a volunteer working on the mural

photo by Styrous®

photo by Styrous®

 photo by Styrous®

a protest sign in front of the mural
photo by Styrous®

Boone is constantly in need of money to fund her mural projects, which she pays for herself (the volunteer in one of the above photos told me the glaze used to finish the murals costs $85 a gallon), and volunteers to work on the murals. If you are interested in helping and want more information, she can be contacted at:

Edythe Boone Support Fund
c/o Juana Alicia
2016 Ninth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710


Thanks for the inspiring work, Edy.



Styrous® ~ January 16, 2013

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