San Rafael Nonprofit The Canal Arts Creates a New Mural for Bon Air Greenbrae

Shoppers at Bon Air in Greenbrae are already enjoying the colorful new mural next to Peet’s Coffee & Tea in the center’s common area, which includes a bocce court, sitting areas and gardens with views of Mt. Tam. Many passersby, however, may be unaware of the mural’s origins, or the artists behind the work.  

To commemorate its 70th birthday, Bon Air commissioned San Rafael nonprofit The Canal Arts to create the mural, which depicts the center’s history, dating back to 1952. The Canal Arts provides the immigrant-rich Canal community with arts education and opportunities, and this is the first public art collaboration the organization has completed outside of the Canal District. Project lead Rich Storek of Storek Studio/Architecture worked closely with Canal Arts artists Yuan Chen, Isidoro Filadelfo Angeles, Kathleen Edwards, Glenn Case to complete the project, along with members from the Canal Families Art Saturdays.

Isidoro Filadelfo Angeles, Kathleen Edwards, Yuan Chu, Rich Storek
Photo courtesy of: Bon Air Greenbrae

“The Canal, home to about 12,000 mostly Latino, mostly immigrant, Marinites, is the home to much of the county’s essential workforce, an historically underserved population, its environment neglected and crowded,” Storek says. “Working with the support of 14 Marin organizations, the Canal Arts works to improve lives through public art that expresses the Canal’s colorful cultures and brightens and inspires its surroundings.” 

History Section Bon Air Mural
Photo courtesy of:

The process entailed creating a small-scale image of the design that was photographed and projected onto the wall at night to transfer it to the “canvas” before painting began. QR codes in the painting link to a timeline that explains Bon Air’s and the Schultz family’s history in Greenbrae, as well as the Canal Arts website, The project took a month to complete. 

The community’s response has been extremely positive. “Creating the mural brought a surprising applause of good will and community engagement during the making and after,” Storek says.

More from Marin:

Lotus Abrams has covered everything from beauty to business to tech in her editorial career, but it might be writing about her native Bay Area that inspires her most. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the San Francisco Peninsula, where they enjoy spending time outdoors at the area’s many open spaces protected and preserved by her favorite local nonprofit, the Peninsula Open Space Trust.