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Art is Work

Mural website imagepainted October 2020

The Art is Work mural by Joey Rose and Alexandra Underwood presides over the Art Works Downtown Susan Kirby Place for many reasons: full shapes, vibrant pallette, festive attitude, cleanliness of design, and—most of all—it’s theme as presented by the muralists.

With this mural, we wanted to highlight two species native to the San Rafael area, while also capturing the vibrancy and energy of the town. With 2020 being a wild rollercoaster of a year, we chose to depict the California Flannel Bush, a native plant known for its resilience and beauty. Flannel bushes are able to overcome their hardships—they are drought tolerant and were used for medicinal purposes. Also featured is the Valley Carpenter Bee, often overlooked but extremely hard working and important pollinators for native plants. They are specifically attracted to flannel bushes. The carpenter bee also reminds us that "Art is Work" as Milton Glaser would say: ‘earned through practice and discipline.’ This team of hard workers symbolizes the community of San Rafael—resilient, tenacious, and colorful. Having this larger than life mural at the central location of Art Works Downtown will serve as a glowing creative hub.”
-Joey Rose and Alexandra Underwood


Art is Work  stands as a symbol of positive and synergistic resilience, a pollinator of ideas and creativity, and an encouraging reminder that we must work and celebrate together to achieve our dreams. 




EACH-Foundation-logo-vector-CMYKA glorious thank you to The EACH Foundation and Steven Talan! Art is Work is possible thanks to their creativity and financial support.  



If Art is Work inspires you to want a mural in your life, Art Works Downtown recommends contacting Joey Rose and Alexandra Underwood as soon as possible. Meet the muralists:


Joey Rose

Joey Rose is a freelance muralist, illustrator and painter located in Emeryville, California. He received his BFA in Illustration at California College of the Arts with distinction. Joey is a licensed painting Contractor, and has combined his technical abilities with his art practice to paint whimsical, magic-realist murals across the Bay Area, CA and Hawaii. Joey's murals are always site-specific and generally are inspired by the local environment and it's inhabitants.

Alexandra Underwood

Alexandra Underwood is an illustrator, designer, and muralist. Born and raised in Maui, Hawai'i, she is influenced heavily by the saturation and beauty of the world around her. Alexandra received her BFA in Illustration with high distinction at the California College of the Arts. After working as in house graphic artist and CMF developer, she is now a freelance illustrator and public artist.  She is currently living in Emeryville, California.


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