There are currently thirty-five murals scattered throughout the College Nine and John R. Lewis College community. Descriptions of each mural, as well as maps to the murals' locations, can be found below. Click on the thumbnail images to view a complete gallery of our murals!

Mural 1

1. Artists: Alessandro Tinonga, Jessica Grice, Tyler Lammerding, and Yelena Zeltser. 

The inspiration and quotation in this mural came from “Yes”, a progressive band from the 70s. The original 2004 version of this mural was sandblasted and repainted in the spring of 2010. Four murals were painted Spring quarter 2004 on the wall at the entrance to College Nine by Alessandro Tinonga, Jessica Grice, Tyler Lammerding, and Yelena Zeltser.  It was an exciting time for our residents and for these muralists because our college was new and there were very few murals in the college.  Unfortunately shortly after the murals were completed, the college was asked to remove them because the University considered the front entryway to be part of the wider University footprint and not specific to the college. Today photos of these murals hang in Terry Freitas Café as a tribute to the muralist and a testament to the lively spirit and artistic talent of our students.

Mural 2

2. Artist: CREATE (Cultural Resources to Educate and to Empower)

This mural was painted in 2004 by the students in CREATE (Cultural Resources to Educate and to Empower), a group that offers a community/home for College Nine and John R. Lewis College students of color to find support and empowerment through mentorship and friendship. The mural has consistently generated lots of important dialogue, raising issues of race, identity, representation, marginalization and more. We welcome this conversation but do not condone graffiti defacing the mural.

Mural 3

3. Words from muralist Luke Botzheim: We had a lot of meetings with the ILC students to discuss what should go on the wall. Everyone agreed that it should reflect the ILC purpose and goals and that of the College Nine Theme as well. We had an artist who lived in the ILC that came up with the concept and shared it with everyone in the ILC. Once it was passed by administration, we started working on it. Almost every student in the ILC participated in making it happen - from giving input to the concept, to going to administration to ask for permission, to helping to decide what flags, to actually helping to paint it... so the ILC students felt a lot of pride when it was finished. It was also the first one that College Nine and John R. Lewis College decided to do, so it did take a lot of work to ask permission to be able to do it. There was a lot of discussion campus wide. But when it was finished, the mural started showing up on a lot of promotional materials for the University and the College.

Mural 4

4. This mural was painted in 2004. However, we are unable to connect this work to its original artist. If you have any information on this mural please let us know!

Mural 5

5. Artist: Gabriel Guerriero

This mural was designed by Gabriel Guerriero and was the first mural at College Nine; John R. Lewis College was nonexistent at the time. There were extreme measures taken to paint this mural, as it was not initially supported by administration to paint on the cement walls. The College Nine student government supported the painting of this mural and many students participated in painting the design. There was a showing of this mural on June 6, 2004.

Mural 6

6. Artists: Reggie Shaw, Daniela Chavez, Shawna Bally, Chika Onu, Jimmy Whitton, Jahnai Eldridge, and Brooke Davi 

This mural is a continuation of a previous mural created last year to depict the various events that occurred over the past decade. However this mural takes on a new spin…literally. The C9/C10 Apartment Community wanted to capture the various events dating from 2010 to 2011. The concept is a satire of the current climate of our Government and many other issues that affects the world. The satire that is represented by the monopoly board is that of a broken system of capitalism. The Monopoly character “Money Bags” is shown within and the events surrounding the board represent some of the issues that are depicted in this mural: Government/Monopoly/Capitalism/Tuition, Protests in Libya/Egypt, Lady Gaga (Pop Icon/Political Activist), Gulf Oil Spill, Immigration, Dream Act, Planned Parenthood, Prop 19 (Marijuana), Repeal of DADT, Change of California ID’s, World Cup FIFA 2010, Japan Earthquake/Tsunami, Pope “Ok’s Condoms, Healthcare Reform, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)/Julian Assange (WikiLeaks).

Mural 7a Mural 7b

7. Artists: Reggie Shaw, Cameron Kalin, Yesenia Ramos, J.R. Canlobo, Kat Chou, and Lauren Eyfer

The purpose of this mural is to demonstrate the last ten years through events on a local, national, and global scale. We seek educate the College Nine and John R. Lewis College community through the artistic portrayal of events of the last decade. Some of the images portrayed on the mural are: 9/11, Bush, Obama, Hurricane Katrina, Haiti, Recession, War in Iraq, Y2K, the death of Michael Jackson, Invisible Children, Darfur, the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Phelps, Soto Mayor, Guantanamo Bay, Tsunami, Gay Marriage, Facebook, Myspace, and the construction of College Nine and John R. Lewis College. The mural will be of the upmost importance to the community due to its connection to the College Nine theme of International and Global Perspectives and the John R. Lewis College theme of Social Justice and Community. 

Mural 8

8. Artists: Chris Woolling, Andy Williams, Laura Ceja 

This mural is composed of a powerful image of Angela Davis, with a quote of hers integrated into the picture. The mural helps solidify the theme of the Angela Davis building and bolsters a heavy symbolic meaning by being at the first floor base of the building. This placement reinforces the strength of Angela Davis and her teachings as being the foundation for much of the thought and discourse of John R. Lewis College. This picture of Angela having her voice heard, coupled with a simple yet inspirational quote, reflects both the theme of the building, as well as the college’s theme of Social Justice and Community.

Mural 9

9. Artists: Lulu Zilinskas, Leila Wolf, Mitzi Bandera, and Colleen Wisel

This mural serves as a reminder to everyone that we are all in this together, no matter your background, race, ethnicity, or religion. In these volatile times, I would hope that this mural represents the child in all of use that ignored any prejudice towards skin color, hairstyle, or clothing and instead embraced similarities. The color choice of the children’s clothing has significance too, representing different flags from around the world without blatantly stating their origins. Through these means I hope this mural is worthy of international and global perspectives, as well as peace and friendship.

Mural 10

10. Artists: Erin Noguchi and Yalda Chalabi 

This mural is a combination of world landmarks (Big Ben, Golden Gate Bridge, Great Wall of China, the Coliseum, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Banana Slug, and College Nine’s Tree Nine) and more, in the style of Starry Night. My manner of styling this painting is blocky and abstract.

Mural 11

11. Artist: Noah Miska

This mural benefits the community by stimulating conversation around what the university is and could be, offering a portrait of the increasing corporatization and mechanization of education processes at the University of California. This issue is simultaneously global and local, symptomatic of an international trend through which public goods are transformed into private holdings by the interests of the elite. In one part, I aim to shed light on the relationship between our state’s systems of education and incarceration. Also shown in the University of California’s past and ongoing involvement with US military enterprise. Every stakeholder at this institution maintains a connection to these issues, and we deserve to be aware of them. In one design element, QR codes embedded within sections of the mural link a curious audience to sources informing the depicted interpretation of the university. I don’t believe that a single mural can restore vibrancy to an ailing education system, but I think it can facilitate exploration of the structural cause of its ailment. I hope to make accessible to my community of peers some of the conceptual tools, which I think are helpful to an understanding of the university though an ever-evolving, transnational and global perspective.

Mural 12

12. Artists:Paige Butzlaff, Mallika Palecanda, and Annie Liu

Our mural is of large hands that are supposed to be resting on a clear dome, signifying that the person (representing us students at UCSC) is safe inside the dome. Outside of the dome is a “Day After Tomorrow” scenario including a completely destroyed city bombarded with natural disasters like tornado, fire and lightening. Dying trees are adding to the death and destruction of this nameless city. The road seen in the center of the mural connects the dome to the ransacked village, but the dome is keeping the person safe from what is going on. This mural is supposed to relay College Nine’s theme of International and Global Perspectives. We, as students of this particular college, are learning about events (past and present) happening in other parts of the world. Yet, we are safe here in our bubble of UCSC where we can learn about the disparities and problems of our world while we continue to mind our own business and stay less concerned with these seemingly overwhelming problems.

The corrupted city represents the horrible things happening in other countries, either internally or externally. The hands symbolize the students who are safely away from what’s going on down the path. Our goal is to not only portray this message, but also make this mural an interactive piece of art that engages students to put their hands on the mural with a sign saying, “Put your hands here” so that they will connect that they are the hands looking into the city. Then they can step back and take in the whole mural and it’s full message with the quote: “We are watching and learning but what are we doing?” I think this mural will open the eyes of students and hopefully encourage them to not only learn about what’s happening in other parts of the world, but also engage in the news. We are part of history in the making and we need to open our eyes and extend hands to people in other parts of the world.

Mural 13

13. Artist:Tami Kwok

This mural draws attention to the fact that hate and hate crimes are not socially tolerable, especially in College Nine and John R. Lewis College. Through this mural, I aim to communicate the idea of peace, promoting a “no hate” ideology to all who pass by. This project is mainly in response to a series of recently committed hate crimes, such as openly discriminating against someone’s race or sexual orientation, neither of which are morally correct or educated. This mural conveys the message that we are all in a place of higher education because of a common goal, to intellectually and morally better ourselves through learning and understanding. With this unifying purpose there should be no reason to commit such hate crimes. The mural may also record this point in time to remind people in the future how important this issue is and how, hopefully, people have managed to transcend a discriminative mindset, making the mural timeless. This will be beneficial to the community as it is an aesthetically pleasing reminder to maintain an environment where everyone can fee safe and accepted for who they are, no matter how long it remains.

Mural 14

14. Artist: Tami Kwok and Jazzica Donida

This mural is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and all that he represented: peace, hope, strength, opportunity and social justice. It is beneficial to the community as it ties individuals and their different perspectives together, with a reminder of principles that we should aim to live by everyday; respect for others and the goal for harmony. Hopefully, it inspires people to play an active role in the betterment of the community, and expand their responsibility as a global citizen. It relates to the themes of College Nine and John R. Lewis College, as symbols representing aspects of social justice from around the world have been integrated into the design. The rays of light (from the west) resemble hope; paddles originate from the African symbol of strength, and the lotus stand for rebirth, and purity. The cherry blossoms (from the east) mean beauty and transience; people should carpe diem, but enjoy the temporary beauty of everything. In addition, the warm solar and earth colors in combination with a tinge of blue are calming, yet cheerful and optimistic, which brightens the tone of the residence halls.

Mural 15

15. Artist: Tiffany Sun

This mural is a combination of what we believe Amnesty House stands for – protecting human rights, uniting people regardless of background, race, or gender, and having a politically conscious view of the world we live in. The image of a hand, exposing muscles and veins is symbolic of how much each person could contribute, to help change the world we live in with just an action of a single helping hand. The words spelled out within the hand represent what Amnesty International and Amnesty House stands for. The other image of a crowd of people uniting under a peace flag is reflective of the theme of John R. Lewis College and Amnesty House, a goal that we ultimately strive for. The last image is a politically conscious statement of what’s going on in the world today. This political image is needed in educating and making others more aware of social issues across the globe.

Mural 16

16. Artist: Rachel (photographer) and Regina

The inspiration of this mural was to honor people who brought war to our eyes. The muralist wanted to help students understand and connect the issues of war in our society.

Mural 17

17. Artist: Brooke Davis

This mural depicts the silhouette of a man sitting against a tree on the top of a hill overlooking a busy cityscape. The tree does not have any leaves and there is no plant or animal life anywhere. A Cree Indian Proverb says “Only when the last tree has fallen and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money”. I am hoping this mural provokes thought about the consequences of urbanization and industrialization of natural land. As wonderful as it is to have modern conveniences, they do come at a price and I think that it is very important to be reminded of that. I am hoping this mural will serve for that purpose – to remind us to preserve our resources because they are what fuels life.

Mural 18

18. Artist: Jamie Masada

More information from Jamie Masada to follow.

Mural 19

19. Artists: Collaboration between UCSC Students, College Nine Leaders and guided by Diana Gilon

Developed, designed and painted Spring 2012 through a collaborative process open to all UCSC students, spearheaded by College Nine student leaders and guided by community muralist Diana Gilon. The Goal of this mural is to reflect student engagement with the theme of College Nine (International and Global Perspectives), and offer a visual reminder of the important work we do here through our commitment to dialogue and building understanding across difference.

Mural 20

20. Artists: Mira Hutton, Max McGregor, Matt Debbaudt, and Emilee Spencer

The mural is of an upside down, pacific centered world map. Commonly known as the “Pacific Island Centered Map”, it is representative of the idea that living in the ILC (and subsequently interacting with individuals of different cultures and identifies) allows residents to see the world in a different way or from a different perspective. There is no “right side up”, but rather the world can be looked at from many different angles and directions. To further the idea that the ILC enables residents to see the world differently and outside of the standard cultural representations, the oceans are painted green and the land is pained blue.

Mural 21

21. Artist: Alessandro Tinonga

Alessandro Tinonga painted this in Spring 2004, but was it later sandblasted in September 2004. Four murals were painted Spring quarter 2004 on the wall at the entrance to College Nine by Alessandro Tinonga, Jessica Grice, Tyler Lammerding, and Yelena Zeltser.  It was an exciting time for our residents and for these muralists because our college was new and there were very few murals in the college.  Unfortunately shortly after the murals were completed, the college was asked to remove them because the University considered the front entryway to be part of the wider University footprint and not the specific to the college. Today photos of these murals hang in Terry Freitas Café as a tribute to the muralist and a testament to the lively spirit and artistic talent of our students.

Mural 22

22. Artist: Jessica Grice

Jessica Grice painted this in Spring 2004, and it was sandblasted away in September 2004. Four murals were painted Spring quarter 2004 on the wall at the entrance to College Nine by Alessandro Tinonga, Jessica Grice, Tyler Lammerding, and Yelena Zeltser.  It was an exciting time for our residents and for these muralists because our college was new and there were very few murals in the college.  Unfortunately shortly after the murals were completed, the college was asked to remove them because the University considered the front entryway to be part of the wider University footprint and not the specific to the college. Today photos of these murals hang in Terry Freitas Café as a tribute to the muralist and a testament to the lively spirit and artistic talent of our students.

Mural 23

23. Artist: Yelena Zeltser

Yelena Zeltser painted this in Spring 2004, before it was sandblasted in September 2004. Four murals were painted Spring quarter 2004 on the wall at the entrance to College Nine by Alessandro Tinonga, Jessica Grice, Tyler Lammerding, and Yelena Zeltser.  It was an exciting time for our residents and for these muralists because our college was new and there were very few murals in the college.  Unfortunately shortly after the murals were completed, the college was asked to remove them because the University considered the front entryway to be part of the wider University footprint and not the specific to the college. Today photos of these murals hang in  Freitas Café as a tribute to the muralist and a testament to the lively spirit and artistic talent of our students.

Mural 24

24. This mural was designed to reflect the theme of College Nine: International and Global Perspectives. The globe in the center of the mural features famous landmarks or symbols from all the continents of the world, such as the London clock tower, pyramids in Egypt, and a Chinese dragon. These symbols are all brought together in the globe to represent how different cultures can come together and live harmoniously in one space. A hand holds up the globe to show our connections to one another.

The word "unity" is highlighted in the middle of the globe, which draws attention to the fact that through sharing our own culture and learning about the culture of others, we can all coexist on this planet. The image of the hand holding up the globe is viewed through a broken wall, which represents the idea that it is necessary to break down cultural barriers in order to unite.

Mural 25

25. This mural criticizes the environmental degradation and loss of compassion caused by development and globalization. In the foreground are people mediating and doing yoga next to a garden (suggesting that we should be growing our own food, rather than buying pesticide-covered GMOs imported from different countries). There are also two trees, presenting a contrast with the deforestation that is illustrated by numerous tree stumps beyond the garden. Past the tree stumps there are gray buildings, symbolizing development and corporations, and a large cloud of pollution rises up from the city. In the sky there is the sun shining brightly, presenting optimism that it is not too late to alter this disastrous trend. It is completed with a quote from Jimi Hendrix, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” This mural relates directly to Social Justice and Community – it urges people to end these social and environmental injustices, and in doing so to create a compassionate, connected community, both on our campus and in the world as a whole.

Mural 26

26. Artist: Rumi's Field Residents

Rumi's Field is a theme floor located in John R. Lewis College dedicated to the idea of nonviolent communication. The mural was painted by residents of Rumi's Field, allowing these students to take ownership of their community while also creating a work of art to be enjoyed by future Rumi's Field residents. The mural was designed to inspire conversation around nonviolent communication. This mural is located in a lounge space, which allows students the opportunity to explore the work of Rumi and nonviolent communication outside of the traditional classroom environment. 

Mural 27

27. This mural draws attention to a multitude of social issues. A branching network of neurons leading to a large brain illustrates how we are constantly being bombarded with sensory stimuli. These messages demand our attention and pull us in a number of different directions all at once, for many of the messages presented to us conflict with one another. The images at the periphery of the mural focus on several specific issues that are salient in our society today. The issues displayed include the tragic incidence of gun violence at Sandy Hooks Elementary, the ongoing threat of climate change, the rigid model of traditional education, and the way technology can help to bring our global community together. 

Oxfam Mural 2013

28. Artist: Collaboration between The Cocurricular Office and Diana Gilon

In Spring 2013 the College Nine Cocurricular Office (The Coco) offered a 1-credit class in which students collaborated with Diana Gilon, a professional muralist from New York City, to produce the College Nine Entrance mural.  Diana, who initially came to our community in 2012 to work with us on the adjacent Israel-Palestine mural, collaborated with Coco staff and student facilitators to help students deepen and articulate the ways in which the theme of the college is important in their lives, and turn this into a visual art piece.  College Nine's theme of International and Global Perspectives recognizes the importance of cultural competency in the 21st century. The College Nine community offers students a range of opportunities to explore these issues and to develop skills as dynamic leaders. Many College Nine programs and classes have been inspired by the work of OXFAM, whose mission is "to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice" in the world.  The mural class was inspired as a result of this partnership.

Building on the shared values of College Nine and OXFAM, this process resulted in this colorful and dynamic work that enhances the entrance to our college.  You can read more in these two news stories about the project:

29. Artist: Jazmine Aceves

I had intended on creating a mural that bridged together two different yet very important subjects at UCSC. In my mural, the bridge is the center point that signifies the bridges all over campus. On one side of the bridge are the global and environmental challenges we face. I added our campus’s redwoods with an Earth growing from the tree to symbolize how precious our planet really is. I added a Sunflower to symbolize Rumi’s Field for non-violent communication. Now, on the other side of this bridge, I created more of an emphasis on the ‘social justice’ aspect of UCSC. The city hosts situations such as ‘city councils’ and most negotiations are held in the city. I created messages along the building and on the roof stands such as Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream.” This mural is mostly meant to really bring out what UCSC is really all about. 

Ghanian mural

30. Artist: Amanda Timoney

Within my painting, the viewer can distinguish the faces of 4 individuals of different indiscernible races. The faces are blended with the sporadic shapes and warm colors of the background in order to symbolize the way humans and the environmental world co-inhabit. Specifically, I gained my inspiration from my experience of living abroad in Ghana. This is most prevalent in the rich bright colors. To me, the specific colors used in the painting almost give off a heat and excitement. Where this excitement is transferred depends entirely on the viewers’ perspective, but for me it symbolized my drive to earn a physical and academic education by studying within the extremely different Ghanaian culture.

Secondly, the symbols that are painted in black are Adinkra symbols (I have also included a book of these symbols for you to peruse). Within Ghanaian society, many individuals decorate their property with the values they hold in the highest regard. They do this by applying Adinkra symbols that represent their specific value to all areas of their homes and clothes. The symbols I included on the painting are the main ideals that I believe encompass John R. Lewis College’s theme of Social Justice and Community. The heart (Sankofa) represents the saying that, ‘an individual must reflect on the past before performing actions that will define the future.’ The square rectangle with notches is a symbol of versatility and change, specifically the skill of being able to take in negative objects/beliefs and change them into something positive for the community. The two lizards that are attached to one another represent unity in diversity. Finally, the circle and triangle represent freedom and the fact that communities attain freedom through violence (the triangle) and peace (the circle). There are many more symbols that I believe would work well with the mural that can be added if the space is available. Overall, I would like for the symbols to be much smaller on the mural in comparison to how they are currently portrayed on the painting (so more can be added).

Assault awareness mural

31. Artist: Ellen Stone

I wanted to create a mural that promotes awareness of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and rape while representing SAFE (Sexual Assault Facts and Education) community on campus. I included four main symbols within my design: the teal ribbon symbolizes sexual assault awareness, the hammer advocates the destruction of social constructs that place the blame of assault on the victim/survivor, the flashlight gives light to sexual assault, and the mouth highlights the importance and power of the individual’s voice. Around the edges of the image I have placed various symbols of diversity, demonstrating that the power to end assault and violence is in the hands of everyone-regardless of race, sex, religion, country of origin or gender identity.

Each flag incorporated into the design is chosen from one country from each of the seven continents, suggesting that the struggle against oppression and critical issues such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, rape, and dating violence is a global fight. The hearts around the perimeter of the border include the flags for many different gender identities and sexual orientations because it must be acknowledged that the issues listed above can be experienced by anyone regardless of gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

Thumbnail of Mural 32 by Jia Min Chen (Carmen) (unity tree mural)

32. Artist: Jia Min Chen (Carmen)

The goal of the College Nine theme is to foster individuals to strive toward becoming global citizens and dynamic leaders. College Nine works hard to build a strong community and meaningful tradition. These traditions, such as painting murals, may seem as though they only take effect in College Nine; however, these influences do exceed past the imaginary borders of UCSC, reaching out to the rest of the world. One simple thought can become a bright idea. One simple action toward the idea can start a thriving movement. My mural focuses on a tree that symbolizes UCSC. There are people in the tree that reach down from tree (because our beautiful, tree-filled campus is on a hill) that reaches for surrounding people on the ground (people around the world), as if to advocate about working together to sustain a good environment and better society. People from all over the world, as symbolized by the different structures of the world in the mural, may come together and unite, hence the people coming together and climbing the “Tree of Unity;” setting a flagpole of many flags of different cultures. This mural hopes to give people motivation to work together and take action on simple thoughts, because all it takes is one simple thought. 

Thumbnail of Mural 33 by Laurence Herfs (international flag mural)        

33. Artist: Laurence Herfs

For this mural, Laurence painted an ‘internationally themed’ piece. Her specialty in painting lies in the human figure, she combined that with the international flags to promote the idea of diversity and cultural exchange in this mural. Her idea behind the mural was that of thought and the mind, filled with international flags and their colors. To Laurence living in the ILC meant living amongst all the colors of the world, filling your mind and imagination with new cultures and ideas. She said it is a fascinating place to live, and would like to give back to this community through this mural. 


34. Artist: Joann Moreira 
The mural depicts the overall message behind John R. Lewis College's theme- Social Justice & Community. The artwork is structured in the form of a tree to represent life. The tree is made up of several words that symbolizes Social Justice. That as a community we should come together as a collective group to end issues surrounding injustice and social inequality. Every time someone walks by this mural the goal is to notice a different word that resonates this theme of unity and equality.

35. Artist:Alejandra Davila 

Unum Mundi, Cor Unum

The world is full of differences, these can be seen in the the different communities made up of different organisms interacting and living amongst each other in, ideally, harmony. With all these differences it is important to keep an open mind, an open perspective, and an open heart. It is these differences that can bring us closer together. Embracing Differences is the main theme of this piece, a theme I believe fits well with the College Nine and John R. Lewis College themes of “Global and International Perspectives” and “Social Justice and Community”. It is depicted by the different ecosystems united at the center by the heart. “Unum mundi, cor unum” is latin for “One world, one heart”.


36. Artist: Eden Ricci & Jenny Fullerton

Flowers Around the World

The mural is of national flowers from around the world, in the hopes of pointing out that all countries are different, but beautiful. Located by the east entrance of Gandhi in College Nine.


37. Artists: CREATE: Ashanique, Brigida, Erika, Irma, Sana, Kim, Eduardo, Naythra, Shannon, Natalie, Nicole, Kalonny, Dana

What's your Story?

I would describe the mural as a response to the question posed by the first mural "Where are the people of color at UCSC?" Our mural is to say that while our numbers statistically are low we are here, and we have a strong presence on this campus. Our mural asks, “What’s your story?" Located at College Nine and John R. Lewis College Apartments, Building 3. 

For a map of College Nine's mural locations, please click here.

For a map of John R. Lewis College's mural locations, please click here.

For a map of the Nine/John R. Lewis College Apartments' mural locations, please click here.

Please add your comments about our murals here

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