Cache Creek High School, Yolo, CA
14320 2nd St
Woodland Unified School District
UC Davis Chicana/o Studies Mural Workshop
Directed by Maceo Montoya
Status: Good condition
Photographers: Maceo Montoya, Ron Nuñez, Ramón Jimenez
Spring 2013 UC Davis Chicana/o Studies Mural Workshop
Cache Creek High School Mural
“Dawn of New Opportunities”
Our mural encompasses the journey experienced by Cache Creek High School students. The foundation of the mural is depicted by a bus on a long road supported by distinct pillars that stretches from left to right—passing through various scenes along the way. Students are depicted overcoming the institutional barriers that have been forced upon them and are now breaking through to achieve their goals. The students have support from their community, their teachers and families helping along the way. The community is the foundation of their support network.
On the left, the road is supported by people-like stone pillars. These pillars represent the emotionless and rigid support network that was available to students at other institutions. They have been streamlined through this cold and alienating part of their journey. Under and between the pillars we have more concrete buildings that signify other institutional systems that have suppressed students’ ambitions. This road intersects with a wall that symbolizes the heart of Cache Creek High School.
The central image is a handball wall that students are painting and repairing as a team. For many, the wall represents a major part of their social life. The image also reflects how students learned how to repair a wall on campus that had fallen over. It’s also a depiction of the beautiful mural created by Cache Creek students. The purpose of repairing the wall evokes a tenacity of protecting self-image from society’s rejection. The students have learned a common interest with the objective of restoring something that involves a favorite pastime. The elevated concrete island represents a distance from the outside world but the island also represents a safe-space in which they feel a sense of belonging and respect that creates a “chill” environment. Overall, the central piece signifies a unique environment in which support and understanding come together to repair a damaged wall.
On the right side of the mural the road transforms from one supported by cold, impersonal pillars to one supported by a more organic and human element. The columns themselves are depicted by staff, faculty and community members to represent their importance in the lives of students along this journey we call Education. At Cache Creek High School, students feel comfortable being themselves and appreciate their teachers very much. In the foreground we see a woman holding a baby; she symbolizes having completed this journey despite what we may consider a huge obstacle.
The tree on the right side represents the various paths students can take after their time at Cache Creek high school. These paths are represented through objects that are hanging off branches from the tree, such as a mechanic’s wrench, beauty school supplies, and other items representing health, education, sports, entertainment, etc. Depicted on the right of the tree are students trying to climb it in order to reach their goals.
On the trunk of the tree is a poem. This poem describes students’ struggles through the symbol of a flower that grows through concrete, overcoming obstacles with scars from the past. Students should not be judged over the negative image that outsiders might stereotyped them to have but rather embrace that they are still in school trying to make it.
The background of the mural primarily represents the local landscape of Yolo County. The agricultural fields are accented with colorful sunflowers in full bloom. The flowers stretch out to the horizon where they meet the rising sun, which represents the dawn of opportunity for the students at Cache Creek. There is also a city in the distance that symbolizes the potential for students who may chose to explore beyond the boundaries of Yolo County. The left foreground shows the cold institutional buildings that are grey and lifeless. The roots of the graduation tree, on the right, are breaking through the concrete and reaching for the sun, mirroring the words in the poem.