Jessica Rosen grew up photographing graffiti in 1990s Detroit. These days, as the owner of One Down Dog yoga studios in Los Angeles, she was eager to bring a reminder of the artwork that inspired her youth into the community she was cultivating in LA. “I wanted the space to feel like a place you’d want to hang out in and connect and talk—not like, I come here and I leave,” says the 37-year-old yoga teacher. “In Detroit, there were beautiful murals everywhere, so bringing that into my studios makes it feel like home.”
Rosen’s former yoga student (and teacher at One Down Dog), muralist Joerael Numina, has spent most of his life living in border states—from Texas to California to New Mexico. In 2016, he launched Mobilize Walls, a mural project that he calls “a petition of scale,” intended to counter the divisiveness and dehumanizing rhetoric that comes with the Trump administration and its pursuit of an expanded border wall. Numina has embarked on creating a network of murals across the country, largely influenced by his yoga practice, that today spans about 10 miles, including the 16 he’s created at Rosen’s three One Down Dog outposts. He hopes other artists and activists will join him in spreading a message of unity and equanimity through art by donating their own mural or wall to the cause.
“Yoga is a spiritual practice meaning union,” says Numina. “The border wall is divisive and centralized and toxic to the environment and the national budget. Mobilize Walls is transformational and inclusive. It creates dialogue and cultivates empathy and compassion. That’s what art does: It connects people—especially in a public space.”
Gift Supplies Numina accepts paint and financial donations at the email address at left. Reach out if you’d like to lend a hand.
Make a Mural Artists and graffiti writers are encouraged to independently contribute to the collective. If you create something (“mobilize your own wall”), email Numina with a photo of your completed project, the size of the piece, and your name or moniker—and he’ll count it toward the goal.
To learn more about the cause, visit mobilizewalls.com.