Cahuilla artist Gerald Clarke creates a mural with his people in mind

And I also think, I turned 55 this year, and I’m starting to feel, more and more as I get older, I’m starting to feel more and more responsible for mentoring and modeling behavior and sharing my understanding of the art and how to do it with the youngest. So my daughter helped me with this project, and then I have another one pending. But I have my daughter and another young man, a member of the tribe, who will help me with this.

I certainly appreciate the help. Do I need help? Not really, but it’s this idea… It’s again, this idea of ​​mentoring and paving the way, giving a boost to this generation behind me who might want to do something similar.

Did you ask her questions while creating the mural to get her perspective, or did she say, “Hey dad, I saw this, and I thought it would be cool to add” or simply: “I like this color, and Here’s why”

Oh, absolutely. And really a lot of people don’t understand how much walking is involved and looking is involved in bigger work. So we would go back to the cafe door and look at the placement of the different elements in the mural. And of course, I asked him, I said, “Well, what do you think of this spacing?” Or, “Do you think it’s too far or too close?” And we’ve done a lot of that. And then I’ll tell you also, the casinos aren’t, other than the flickering lights and all that, they’re not really well lit.

And me growing old. There were a lot of times I couldn’t see what I was doing, and I relied heavily on her to help me see lines and stuff. And she did a lot of detail painting, especially on the rattles that are included in it. Not everything is understood from the start. And you get something up there, and you react and interact, and that’s what’s exciting about creating art, just going into the unknown, not just creating a sketch and then doing it. I think that would be very boring.

So, what did you learn about yourself during this project? Something you took that could help you?

Yeah, some of them were really practical, like I was pouring resin on wooden elements. The hummingbird, they’re cut out of wood, painted, and then I poured a mixture of resin and glitter over them, and I’ve never done that before. So it was partly a physical apprenticeship. Oh, that’s how it is, and it’s cool. And then part of it was just learning to interact, like the thing with my daughter, and asking for help when I thought I needed it, like not being able to see. I think I started to feel my age a little bit.

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