In 2005 I was awarded the individual artist grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission to create on a mosaic bench with youth at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. Work began in the summer of 2006. This was my first permanent and public artwork. I was able to provide access to the local community to the process and production of art in their environment. The bench was dedicated to the memory of Enola Maxwell and the theme was the tree of life. Youth at the neighborhood house helped me to make tiles, and the local residents then became involved in the mosaic installation process.
The more I work on community based art projects, the more evidence I see of the positive effects art and environment has on our lives. During the project one of the local residents confided that she had been depressed, her involvement in the project revived her belief in community: An art project provided her with a way to participate, making her a productive member of her community. This project also provided an important link between youth at the Neighborhood House and the surrounding residents.