Mazatl and Killjoy mural project poster. (Courtesy of Stan State Art Department) 

After semesters of student-led activism, Stan State is finally going to have its first mural, which will be painted by Mazatl and Killjoy. 

One of the 11 recommendations presented by students from Transformative Tuesdays last semester, was funding for public art. 

“Through Transformative Tuesdays the students formed a collective through ISA, QTPOC, MEChA, Ethnic Studies and BSU and other students from different majors came together to support the 11 recommendations. One of them was to fund public art on campus with a social justice narrative,” said Jaz Diaz (senior, Studio Art). 

Mazatl and Killjoy explained how their overall theme is healing. 

“We want to use the space as a way to sort of invite healing into the community and to create an environment of respect, mainly for our community and for it to expand to other communities,” said Matzal. 

Matzal then proceeded to explain what healing meant to Killjoy and him, “Healing (to us) is incorporating the indigenous vision of our people. Healing is a connection to mother earth. Our [purpose] is to highlight our connection to mother earth as a way through healing and as a way of healing communally.”

Students, faculty and community members were encouraged to add their input on what healing meant to them. 

Dr. Cueponcaxochitl Moreno Sandoval explained what healing meant to her.

“To inspire people to get at their cultural roots, to relate to the land, to recognize that we all belong and come from different walks of life. One of the things, in terms of connecting to mother earth, is really placing our humanity, moving towards a compass that recognizes that we are all on native land, that this earth has been cared for by indigenous peoples that have songs about the water, the hills, flatlands and the trees.”

Others, like Antonio Anaya Tapia, (senior, Business), said that healing to him meant nature and natural plants and herbs. 

“I’ve been seeing [that] there is a blue bird that collects the acorns and drops them off in our community garden. So the community garden where we are planning to grow indigenously and have herbs that will in turn help us heal.” 

Overall, the theme of inclusion on campus was prevalent in the conversation. 

“We want something that says we belong on campus and... they [Stan State Campus] use the term ‘diversity and inclusion’ we see it everywhere. We are the diversity and the inclusion is that we get to be on this campus, but where is the part where we belong?” said Diaz.

Matzal explained that although inclusion is very important, it is impossible to include everyone. 

“We are just going to do one mural. We can’t incorporate everything, and this notion that everyone is going to be represented and included is impossible to do. The inclusion is in our hearts and in our minds.”

Although total inclusion is hard to achieve, Killjoy explained how they can achieve inclusion through healing, “We want to see something that gives energy. Healing can come in so many forms, and healing is borderless so healing is for everybody. We definitely want to steer away from anger.” 

Students who attended the event and gave input were happy and thankful to those who made this possible.

“I am grateful for the efforts of the Ethnic Studies Club, ISA and other folks for helping make this become a reality,” said Carlos Ortiz (junior, History). 

Students and community members who want to participate in Stan State’s first mural can do so by reaching out to Martin Azevedo, or following Indigenous Students in Activism Club on Instagram, @isa.csustanislaus. 

This event will be going on from October 28th until November 20th. 

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