Wesley Wright, an ACGA Exhibiting member as well as a member of our Board of Directors and our Social Media Manager, is working with Youth Spirit Artworks to design and create a ceramic mural and mosaic bench honoring Frances Townes. Townes founded the Berkeley Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless in 1985 with Wright’s father, Moe Wright, and Sally Hindman who is now the executive director of Youth Spirit Artworks. For many years Frances worked as the lead docent for the Oakland Museums Natural History area allowing her to be an environmental advocate as well as an advocate for the poor. The project will also celebrate Towne’s 100th birthday.

Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) is an interfaith “green” art jobs and job training program located in Berkeley, California which is committed to empowering homeless and low-income San Francisco Bay Area young people, ages 16-25.

The mural will be installed on the front of the YSA building and the bench will be in front of the mural on the sidewalk. The YSA building is located at 1740 Alcatraz in South Berkeley. The mural and bench are part of a broader urban renewal project that’s taking place in the neighborhood. Below are images of the work-in-progress.

Learn more about Youth Spirit Artworks by visiting their website.

See more of Wesley Wright’s work here.

Digital sketch of the relief mural depicting Frances as an embodiment of the mother spirit surrounded by native plants, fish and birds of California. The sky is filled with messages from the community about art and nature. The idea was conceived by the youth artists, Sally Hindman, and Wesley Wright.


Sculpting Frances’s body on the template.


Projecting the design on template


California Poppy tiles that will be among other native Californian plants composed behind Frances.