stockton mural

Sunroop Kaur of Stockton, California. (monsoonartsfest.ca photo)

The state of California’s “Your Actions Save Lives” campaign, which provides Californians with information about how to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, is partnering with more than 20 artists across California – including Indian American Sunroop Kaur of Stockton – to reach hard-hit communities throughout the state.  

The statewide program features 14 original works of art with empowering public health messages about protecting one another, being resilient and living in community. It engages prominent Latino, Black/African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Native American/Indigenous and LGBTQ artists and communities throughout California, a news release said.

In Stockton, Kaur’s mural, entitled ਬਸੰਤ (Spring), celebrates the South Asian community and reminds us that masking and physical distancing have helped stop the spread of COVID-19.

The mural can be viewed on the side of the JMP Restaurant Supply building at 742 E. Main St., near U.S. Highway 4.

The mural contains Eastern influences painted within the mural, including a Mughal miniature-inspired floral border and arches that reference ancient Indian architecture. A pastel color palate and blossoms symbolize the season of spring and new beginnings, while lapis blue accents honor Kaur’s Sikh faith, the release said.

A masked man and woman depicted in the mural are separated by arches, depicting a tender moment that acknowledges both the need to maintain physical distance and the universal longing to be close to our loved ones during the pandemic, it said.

“The arches act as a window to the outside world,” Kaur said in a statement. “These ‘windows’ symbolize the light we are all working toward by continuing to wear masks and watching our distance in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19. There is hope.” 

Leveraging the power of art as a form of communication and supporting California’s arts community, the COVID-19 arts project features original works produced in a variety of mediums including performing, literary, and visual arts shared in public places throughout California.

The initiative is designed to raise awareness of critical actions Californians have taken to help stop the spread of COVID-19 — and to encourage these continued practices — such as wearing a mask, washing hands, physical distancing, and getting vaccinated, according to the release.

“The pandemic isn’t over yet, so we still need to stay vigilant,” Dr. Tomás Aragón, director of the California Department of Public Health and the State Public Health Officer, said in a statement. “It’s critical that we continue to work together to protect our communities even as restrictions are lessened. These works of art reinforce that if everyone does their part to follow safety guidelines and get vaccinated, we can end the pandemic that much sooner,” Aragon added.

The “Your Actions Save Lives” campaign targets disproportionately impacted communities across the state using a variety of media, including television and radio PSAs, digital and social media advertisements, billboards and grocery store signage, the release adds.

Developed in partnership with The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, the arts initiative complements the statewide campaign with projects in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Monterey/Salinas, Los Angeles (East/El Monte), Los Angeles (South-Central), San Bernardino, Santa Ana, San Diego, El Centro, Stockton, Sacramento, Central Valley (Merced/Fresno/Bakersfield) and Redding.  

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