Art with Purpose: Rene’s Mural Project for Community Transformation

In the heart of the East Bay, a vibrant and passionate Guatemalan artist named Rene is making waves with a project that is not only visually stunning but also deeply rooted in social change. Rene’s journey as an artist has been a path of self-discovery, community connection, and a commitment to using art as a powerful tool for transformation. In this interview, we sit down with Rene to delve into the story behind their mural project and the impactful messages it conveys.

Kunal Palawat’s Journey: Relationship to Land, Environmental Justice, and BEETs

The BEETs (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) program at CommunityGrows is led by Kunal Palawat, who describes themselves as a Desi gardener, critical environmental justice researcher, and cook. They bring multiple years of experiential education, community organizing, and scientific research experience to CommunityGrows. More than that though, they bring and share their passion for the land that is contagious and inspiring. And it all started with a love for food and soil.

From a Seed to a Community

I joined BEETs on a reference by my teacher. I joined for the sole reason on how they interacted with nature. It was something I had grown interested in, something I wanted to explore. Nature was depleting every single day, and my anxiety over climate change had really pushed me to the job.