The Artists


Amana Harris is an author, artist, non-profit leader, educator and community advocate. Her newly released book, Self as Super Hero: Handbook on the Creation of the Life-Size Self-Portrait is a testament to her years of experience in community arts and education and her belief in the power of art to empower and inspire children, youth and communities.

Amana serves as the Associate Director of the Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc. (AHC) and is the creator of ArtEsteem, a program of AHC since 1995 that serves over 20 schools and community centers in Oakland and the larger East Bay using the arts for expression, academic integration and social justice.  Amana has led AHC in serving over 50,000 children and youth in Oakland and the larger East Bay since the work began and has created a safe space for youth to work, take leadership in the community and mentor other youth.

Amana has a BFA in Drawing from the California College of Arts and Crafts and a Masters in Teaching from the University of San Francisco.  Amana is a professor at the California College of the Arts and engages students in understanding the impact of historical and current injustices on our educational systems and how the arts can play a critical role in educating, liberating and inspiring children and youth.  Amana has been instrumental in building strong relationships and partnerships in and beyond the West Oakland community since 1995 and has spent the last fifteen years developing and supporting pedagogical concepts that uplift the human spirit through art, dialogue and other forms of creativity.


Aaron De La Cruz's work, though minimal and direct at first, tends to overcome barriers of separation and freely steps in and out of the realms of design, graffiti, and illustration.

The parameters he has chosen to work within actually allow him to free himself and react to the very limitations he has created. This overriding structure and the lack of deliberation while moving within creates a tension when encountering his work due to the almost computer generated grid like systems he creates by unplanned markmaking. The act and the marks themselves are very primal in nature but tend to take on distinct and sometimes higher meanings in the broad range of mediums and contexts they appear in and on.

His work finds strengths in the reduction of his interests in life to minimal information. De La Cruz gains from the idea of exclusion, just because you don't literally see it doesn't mean that its not there.


David Burke is an East Bay native and has participated in over thirty mural projects over the last ten years.  He began his graduate studies in Rome, and received his M.F.A. in painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 2001.   He spent most of the last decade teaching art at Saint Elizabeth High School and then Patten University in Oakland.  He has exhibited his work both locally and abroad.  Most recently, he was a visiting lecturer in painting at Chiang Mai University in Northern Thailand.  David currently lives in Oakland.

David's most recent body of work explores the intersection between the man-made and natural worlds. The paintings illustrate man’s complex and often convoluted relationship to nature and depict instances in which theses forces both compliment one another and collide in destructive ways. These works celebrate man’s desire to build, innovate and create, while acknowledging the fact that our impulse to grow and consume is eroding the ecological framework that we depend on to sustain our wasteful habits.

In these paintings pools of ink recede like oil-saturated waters at low tide. Trees emerge from a tangled field of structures, gears, and wires. My process involves equal parts control and chaos, and echoes tenuous socio-ecological relationships depicted in the imagery. The use of synthetic material reinforces the commentary on man’s impulse to consume, contain and modify the earth’s resources in order to accommodate our own needs and desires. The paintings pay tribute to the resilience of the natural world and encourage the viewer to reconsider the perceptual boundaries between man and the environment.

San Pablo Avenue

The artists behind mural #1

Oakland Super Hero Mural Project


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