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The Colormaster

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Join us this Wednesday for an artist’s talk with MMAP’s Artist in Residence Scape Martinez and Bay Area artist HLOVE. In anticipation of the event, we asked Scape to tell us about his fourth and newest book “Colormaster” and the motivation behind it. Here’s what he had to say:

Since I was young, people would comment on how I would use color, and for the life of me, I could never understand it. I thought everyone viewed color as I did. Little did I know that wasn’t the case. A close friend once told me, “Bro… no one rocks colors like you… you should do a book called Color Master.” I listened, I took that in, and here it is!

“Color communicates because color is powerful, and powerful color is more powerful still.” – SCAPE

No matter what discipline or style I got into, color would play a major role in the work. At times it was a conscious thing. At other times, it was unconscious and something that just happened. But as time went on, I noticed connections that would happen that further pushed the importance of color to me as an artist and as a person.

This book sheds light on my views about color, and how I use color in my artwork. Color Master is the beginning of a conversation that I want to entertain and push forward. I want to share how important color is and how I “rock” colors in the abstract graffiti arena.

In part, my take is that this book will show how I use color to bring beauty and meaning and ultimately life to my work. My hope is that in turn, you’ll be able to do the same. You’ll be able to shout, scream, and push the boundaries of your art. The idea is to create and communicate in a way that graffiti letter structure cannot do by itself.

The use of color choices is meant to make your work even more meaningful, personal, and highly effective. My hope is that my message will spread.

Below is the book cover… ENJOY!


Moments of Grace

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Dear MMAP Family,

Everyone knows me as “that guy,” quietly shuffling from one project to another, moving from one cohort to the next. But who is Scape Martinez? And what does he do outside of the Mural Music & Arts Project (MMAP)? What makes him tick?

You are invited to come on in and see!

Some of you already know that I write and I create my own form of visual art. My fourth book “COLORMASTER,” is set to be released on November 8th, and in conjunction with this release, I have an art show at Big Umbrella Studios in San Francisco (906.5 Divisadero St.) in collaboration with another Bay Area artist, HLOVE. The work on display is a reflection of my love affair with color and expression, my ode to the spray can and paint splatters. I want you to “hear” the work and maybe walk away with colors embedded in your heart. These works are directly from the pages of the book, and I want to share them with you all. Come in and see my other side…

See these “Moments of Grace”!



Big Umbrella Studios
906.5 Divisadero St. (at McAllister)
San Francisco, CA 94115

  • Fri. Nov. 8th, 6-10pm – Show Opening & Reception
  • Wed. Nov. 20th, 6:30-8pm – Artist’s Talk with SCAPE and HLOVE
  • Sat. Nov. 23rd, 12-3pm – Intro to Graffiti by SCAPE and HLOVE
  • Wed. Dec. 4th, 6:30-8pm – “COLORMASTER” Book Signing by SCAPE

Introducing: CO2

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

CO2 performing at this year’s EPA Community Celebration and Mural Unveiling

CO2 is a girls only band that grew out of youth work to bring an Art and Music Center to East Palo Alto. The band practices once a week in the Live In Peace studio, and performs regularly in East Palo Alto. Rosamia Morales-Valdez states, “I love playing drums in CO2 because the drums love me just the way I am. I relax and am learning to feel more comfortable performing in front of other people.” Other members include Susan Vunga (piano), Ketzalzin Cruz (bass), and Tameira Woods (vocals and eukelele).

Left to right: Susan, Ketzalzin, Rosamia, and Tameira

Homegrown: Youth Leading the Fight

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

“The youth are powerful,” proclaimed Trevor Burroughs, founder of the East Palo Alto Historical and Agricultural Society. The youth are at the forefront of fighting for progressive change, from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960’s fighting for civil rights to Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) leading the fight for environmental justice.

Homegrown: Cultivating Dreams through Action

On Monday, March 18th, the youth took the stage to articulate lessons from the past and inspire the ongoing movement for social and environmental justice in East Palo Alto. City Hall was so packed that many of the audience members were forced to stand, but this did not deter them from hearing what the youth had to say. The diverse and intergenerational audience was eager to view the premiere of three music video documentaries that resulted from collaboration between Stanford Urban Studies students and East Palo Alto youth lyricists. The films merged hip hop music and historical documentary techniques and explored three stories of environmental justice in East Palo Alto.

Isaiah Phillips MC-ing the event

One of the songs “Living Body, ” by Darryl Davis, Brysone Washington, and Adrian Johnson, examined YUCA’s influential win of shutting down Romic Corporation’s hazardous waste plant in 2007. The power of the victory was that came from youth action. Darryl’s verse speaks to the real resolutions that come from a generation that is often overlooked in society:

“Protecting our land because we’re ohh soo defensive/ had kids as young as 10/ writing letters with incentives…YUCA got it/ Provide that safe space/ So young people can be empowered/ If you ain’t at the table/ You’re on the menu.”

Isaiah Phillips, an organizer of the event, MC, and one of the artists, stated, “The event brought the best of the community together, it brought together people who normally wouldn’t be in the same room.” We need to continue to work as a community and create spaces where there are intergenerational exchanges of knowledge and stories and where the youth are empowered and take the ownership to take action.

As we continue to face issues in our community, it is imperative that the youth voice is heard and recognized, for they are the next generation of leaders. Thank you for all who came out. It was truly a special event.

Fluent Flowz, Brysone The Hope Dealer, Randy McFly on the mic and leaders in EPA.

ISE Making Waves

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

On Thursday, January 17, 2013, In-School Electives (ISE) had its first art show in East Palo Alto Academy’s Gym. The show was in collaboration with the painting elective class at the school. The students, with guidance from Artist in Residence Scape Martinez and ISE Instructor Laura Nunez, curated the show and wrote artist bios highlighting their inspirations and achievements.

EPAA students viewing the Art Show

Example Student Artist Bios

During lunchtime, students and teachers walked through and viewed all the artwork. The ISE students demonstrated great pride in sharing their art with the rest of the school as onlookers recognized and showed respect for each piece of art.

Letter "B" for Bobbie, Freshman

The vibrancy of the artwork is a reflection of the personalities, styles and cultures at East Palo Alto Academy. The wheels of creativity are moving and MMAP’s ISE students are making big waves. We look forward to seeing more to come. Thank you to Scape and Laura!

Teachers admiring San Francisco sports pride art pieces

HEArt & Soul of MMAP

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Going on the 12th year since MMAP’s founding, the heart and soul of the organization continues to touch all those that walk through its door. The power of art and community are felt through the relationships built, the messages conveyed, and the progress that is made; it is also what carries us through times of triumph and sorrow. Olatunde Sobomehin (Deputy Director), Sarah Woodward (Director of Art & Programs), Isaiah Phillips (Performing Artist, Lyrical Instructor), and Brysone Washington (HHH Participant) all wrote poems that speak to the heart and soul of MMAP. Below are two of our favorites.

by Isaiah Phillips
education inspiration…empowerment where
youth bloom like flowers and learn
to ride life’s breeze like a flower’s sent
incredible mentorship, spetacular mentor’s
innovation, creation, family, can’t you see
this entity give space to find identity
fighting what circumstances and roles life would give to thee
becoming what we are truly meant to be…

by Brysone Washington
A place that I can feel is a place I call home
A place that will never make me feel like I’m alone
A place so warm like the middle of the summer
A place that keeps me safe from the rain and thunder
A place with bright smiles and long loving hungs
A place to shed tears if no one else listens up
A place to inspire, empower and educate
Is a place that I hope will never go away

Thank you to the MMAP staff, youth, and volunteers who submitted poems for the CTK Foundation’s Heart & Soul 2013 Grant Awards!

HEArt & Soul at MMAP, East Palo Alto, December 2012

What makes your balloon pop?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

As San Francisco and East Palo Alto kick off the new year with the Coping Unit, all HEArt students answered the question, “What makes you stressed, angry, or frustrated?” Students used a balloon analogy to understand that every person has stressors in their life that fill up their balloons, but rather than letting our balloons fill up to the point of popping we have to understand how to deflate them in positive and creative ways.

HEArt McNair ladies sharing their balloons with one another

Each student was given a balloon and drew the symbols of what stresses them out. The stressors of our students ranged from violence in the community to conflicts with their siblings. After discussing their balloons, many students realized they shared similar stressors in their lives.

Detail of Student balloon

HEArt Starr King blowing up their balloons

Once finished exploring the stressors in their lives, everyone popped his or her balloons at the same time. While popping the balloons was a thrill for the students, we about how the loud noise symbolized that when each of our balloons pop, it not only affects ourselves but all those around us. HEArt students closed up the activity by drawing their balloon in their notebooks. Their balloon page will act as reference as they continue the unit with an understanding that art can be used as a way to express a range of human emotions and become equipped with positive tools to deal with their stressors.

HEArt student Oskar drawing his balloon

Project Inspire 2012

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

This weekend, MMAP traveled to San Jose to paint at Veggielution for NVIDIA’s annual Project Inspire. This was MMAP’s sixth year partnering with NVIDIA to produce an exquisite mural for the local community. Located right below the 280 and 680 intersection, Veggielution is a community farm with a mission to empower youth and adults from diverse backgrounds to create a sustainable food system.


The 28’ X 8’ mural, designed collaboratively by MMAP artist Sarah Woodward and NVIDIA engineer Randy Reynolds, reflects the mission of Veggielution as well as the vibrancy and richness that comes with community building, diversity and sustainability. The mural will be installed on Veggielution’s new outdoor kitchen.

Friday morning MMAP team

True teamwork was in action all weekend as the MMAP staff worked with NVIDIA volunteers under the shade of the greenhouse. The forty NVIDIA volunteers did an amazing job putting their artistic skills to work and quickly took to painting the opposite colors and layers of the mural. The MMAP staff all enjoyed the incredible opportunity to collaborate with creative minds in a new and different realm.

Scape working with Nvidia volunteers

The mural highlights were completed on Monday with MMAP’s all-star team: Sarah Woodward, Scape Martinez, Laura Nagle and Yetunde Olagbaju. Please look at our NVIDIA 2012 album on Facebook for more photos.

Final mural design. Great job to all the volunteers!

Thank you to NVIDIA and Veggielution staff and volunteers for welcoming MMAP to another successful Project Inspire!

Magic In A Classroom

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

“What’s happening at EPAA is magic in a classroom,” stated Scape Martinez, MMAP’s Artist in Residence. As expressed by Scape, it has been a great Fall quarter for our In-School Electives class at East Palo Alto Academy (EPAA), one of MMAP’s strongest school collaborators. Led by renowned graffiti artist, Scape Martinez, and one of MMAP’s Public Allies, Laura Nunez, students dove into learning the fundamentals of graffiti. They learned four different kinds of graffiti writing styles including urban calligraphy, bubble letters, block letters and wildstyle. “We’re introducing all these tools that they can use, but they are taking them into their own stylistic direction,” stated Laura.

ISE students letting their creative juices flow

This Week ISE will begin covering different artistic elements that can be incorporated into their graffiti. They will cover the use of shapes, expressive lives, and contrasting colors. Below are some examples of what the students have come up with:

Piece created by Asa

We are look forward to what December will bring! Stay tuned for more on ISE, with Technology Fridays taught by dynamic duo Olatunde Sobomehin and Demetric Sanders.

HEArt San Francisco!

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

It has been a productive and exciting few months for HEArt San Francisco! At ISA (International Studies Academy) the students were able to organize and participate in an extrodinary display of talent and bravery: The “Lights On” Halloween Open Mic. 7th grade HEArt student Namasha sang a Bollywood song while our MMAP veteran Josh Consul and HEArt Instructor Adrian Johnson kept the event lively as supreme Master’s of Ceremony.

With our Environmental Justice portion coming to a close, students have: made wallets out of fused plastic bags, come up with their own superpowers, written fantastic hip-hop lyrics, and even had to guess how long it takes Styrofoam to decompose (turns out it is never!). These projects were all done with the question “What is my ideal environment and how can I change it myself?” in mind.

So far it has been an amazing first six weeks and we are looking forward to starting our Nutrition unit and making wholesome food with our students!