Maya Escobar knew she wanted to support the mayoral campaign of Miguel del Valle. She just didn't know how.
The performance artist and blogger was drawn to the campaign's refusal to take "dirty money" and its grass-roots support, she said. But she didn't have the means to make much of a monetary contribution. So instead, she gave her talent.
Escobar decided to paint a mural for her candidate of choice. "Murals tend to monumentalize these large cultural happenings," she said, "so I thought, what better way to support the campaign?"
But with her background in digital art, and the community focus of the del Valle campaign, she knew it couldn't be just a standard painting. Instead, she figured she'd make a "social media mural," soliciting the online community for help. "The whole time I've been painting it, I've been hashtagging #DelValleMural on Twitter and saying, 'What do you want to see on the mural?' 'Here's what I did today.'"
In the foreground, next to the candidate himself, Escobar featured three high school students from Roger C. Sullivan High School who -- unprompted by the campaign -- made a video panning Rahm Emanuel and supporting Miguel del Valle for his neighborhood schools advocacy.
The background depicts several ethnic groups and neighborhoods from whom del Valle is soliciting support.
Now that the mural is complete, it's been taken around to various campaign events, and the Sullivan students appeared with the mural at a get-out-the-vote event over the weekend.