The Channel Islands Maritime Museum (CIMM) is inviting the public to join it for a special blessing ceremony in honor of a soon-to-be-created mural at the Museum.
Chumash Elder Alan Salazar will be conducting a traditional Chumash blessing ceremony at the mural site. Museum friends and the public are invited to join in the ceremony. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, July 9, at 11 a.m. at the Museum, located at 3900 Bluefin Circle, Oxnard.
Over the last several months, CIMM has been working in partnership with the Ventura County Indian Education Consortium, VC Arts Council, artist Joe Galarza, and Chumash Elder Alan Salazar, on the creation of this beautiful new mural that will celebrate the Chumash as a maritime people. The mural will be the creation of artist Joe Galarza and will depict Chumash paddlers guiding their Tomol through the waters and islands of the channel. Local students will also be participating in the creation of the mural. This mural will be located on one of the Museum’s outdoor walls.
“We are so very grateful to Alan Salazar for leading this blessing ceremony for the new mural. What a wonderful way to acknowledge this mural and the Chumash land that the mural will rest on,” says CIMM’s executive director, Adri Howe. “We think the mural is a beautiful way to showcase the seafaring ways of the Chumash, past and present. I am so happy that CIMM has been given the honor to have the mural and to celebrate important local maritime culture here at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum.”
Here is what the mural will look like when it’s complete:
About Joe Galarza
Joe Galarza is a Xica-indio visual artist and musician. He grew up in an economically-disadvantaged community where he was exposed to the violence of poverty, drugs, and gangs at an early age. As a result, Joe used his childhood experiences in East LA to educate at-risk youth on the healing power of combining Art, Music and Culture to combat societal oppression and intergenerational trauma. Currently, Joe teaches art and music at correctional facilities, universities, community centers, and emergent sites of collective action like Standing Rock. He also performs in the internationally renowned music group “Aztlan Underground.” Joe’s indigenous family background is Penatuka Numunu /Tepehuan Odami Nations. He strives to preserve and celebrate the diverse cultures of indigenous people of the so-called “Americas” through art and music as well as provoke questions and address urban social issues like the conditions he overcame in East Los Angeles. Joe strives to bring resources through the arts that can serve as an alternative to destructive paths.
About Alan Salazar
Alan Salazar is a traditional storyteller, native educator, and a tribal elder in both the Fernandeño Tataviam and Ventureño Chumash tribes.
About the Ventura County Indian Education Consortium
The Ventura County Indian Education Consortium is a federally funded program providing direct services to American Indian and Alaskan Native Students in grades K-12 in Ventura County.
About the Ventura County Arts Council
The Ventura County Arts Council was formed in 1997 and incorporated as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization. Its charge is to serve all Ventura County residents with an array of arts programs. The Council is designated by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors as the local partner arts agency with a mandate to serve the county’s citizens in partnership with the California Arts Council.
About the Channel Islands Maritime Museum
Located in Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor, the Museum’s galleries feature rare maritime paintings dating back to the 1600s, more than sixty world-class models of historic ships, rotating fine arts exhibitions, and interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to expand their horizons about everything maritime. The Museum is currently open Thursday-Monday from 12 pm to 4 pm. www.cimmvc.org
Editor’s Note: this story was published on June 29, 2022.