Project: "Back Story" Life Chiropractic West College History Museum mural-2017
Dimensions: 8' x 20'
Medium: Acrylics on Canvas
Location: 25001 Industrial Blvd, Hayward, CA
While working on the For Amusement Only mural in Berkeley in 1985 there was no other way of painting than to sit on the hardwood floor all day. A pillow helped a little but after one month I was experiencing extreme back pain. A few days after finishing the mural I became immobilized. For eight days I could not get out of bed. My friends Jon and Kim knew of a chiropractor in Oakland and over the course of a month she helped me heal. The x-rays showed my spine twisted in three very unhealthy directions. The wonderful Doctor Deborah Schick told me I came a few weeks from being in a wheelchair for the rest of my days. This experience left me with a profound sense of gratitude and indebtedness to the profession.
When I heard about Hayward's Life Chiropractic College desire for an historical themed mural I was a little more than interested. During the course of the research I learned a lot about the early practitioners and the sacrifices they made to bring this healing art into our lives. There was a conference approaching and the college needed the work to be installed in a relatively short time to meet their deadline. We worked on the project over the course of four weeks and each day lasted between 10 and 14 hours. The focus on this panel was to be the early years from the 1890's though the 1950's. Images included views of the first buildings, the first discoverers and proponents as well as images of hands on practice and even scenes of doctors jailed for continuing to provide services. We worked on one ten foot section at a time, rolled the completed side onto a tube vertically and painted the next section stapled to a wall at my studio. The mural was installed on time in the history department's museum where it can be found today. I could not have completed such a complex piece without the help of many talented assistants including Veronica Rose, Kristi Holohan, Ingrid Good, Ed Cassel and Nina Wright. Further thanks to Professor George Casey who oversees the museum for all his time and attention to detail.