The Wisdom of our Elders

Titled “Wisdom of Our Elders,” this vibrant 225-foot-by-32-foot mural at 501 Main Street in downtown Watsonville represents a collaboration between Community Bridges, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, and local Chicano muralists, The Jams, aiming to underscore the profound significance of our older adults within our community. Through compelling imagery, we seek to illuminate their indispensable role in our daily lives, while also emphasizing our shared commitment to providing them with the care, support, and dignity they rightfully deserve.

The mural depicts portraits of a joyous senior man and proud senior woman. These large portraits celebrate the elders in our community, something very important to Elderday, and any vibrant community. Between the two portraits are several “memory bubbles” highlighting special moments between elders and the younger generations.

The man and woman, affectionately called “El Don y La Doña” by The Jams, are a combination of several grandparents from the community and past Elderday participants.

Last year, Community Bridges embarked on an ambitious journey to create a mural that would capture the essence of aging, the depth of knowledge accumulated over a lifetime, the importance of history, and the strength of our community. Through a rigorous selection process, The Jams were identified as the artists who could elevate this project and truly capture these themes. This collaboration was deeply rooted in community engagement. Input sessions with local residents, Elderday staff and participants, Community Bridges staff, and older adults from the Watsonville Senior Center ensured that the mural would reflect the diverse and vibrant voices of our community.

We invite you to stop by and view this celebratory mural. Please click on each of the four panels below to learn more about the stories depicted in the mural.

The Wisdom of Our Elders
Elderday Adult Day Health Care 
501 Main Street, Watsonville, CA, 95076

The Jams Brand artists

The Jams Brand

Augie WK & Jessica Carmen

Main form of media: Spray paint and live painting murals

Secondary forms of media: illustrative design for publications, Arts education materials for Non-Profits, mosaics, zines, canvas paintings, and any other way they can express their creative ideas.

Favorite type of art medium: Spray paint has been a favorite because it helps quickly produce larger than life murals that will last a lifetime.The Jams have perfected the way they utilize spray paint to ensure the murals look great from far away as well as up close.

Awards and Recognition:

  • 2023 – “Spotlight Award”, Santa Cruz County Arts Commission
  • 2022 – Public Art Grantees, Tannery Arts Center
  • 2018-2021 – Public Art Grantees, Arts Council Santa Cruz County
  • 2018 – Recognized Artist, Salinas Chamber of Commerce

Artistic Accomplishments:

  • Two of their biggest murals are in Watsonville (Sabor and Elderday), with Elderday being the largest non-abstract mural in Watsonville
  • Have averaged about 20 murals a year
  • Have painted in over 6 states and in Mexico
  • Curated multiple Paint Jams, Art Markets, Arts Exhibitions and Block Parties
  • As artists, the Jams have participated in and worked with 1Culture Gallery & Art Collective, 2Buck Invitational, 333 Arts, Bizare Art Festival, California Roots Music Festival, Going All City PHX, Local Colors SJ, Napa Town & Country Fair, The Old Skulls CDMX, Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, San Jose Day, Tannery Arts Center, Together We Create 408, The Wall’s Art Park, we. Mural Festival Sand City and more.

Community Bridges Family of Programs

Mural of elderly man

Panel 1: El Don

El Don gently cradles a hummingbird, or colibrí, who are messengers of love, joy, and good fortune within several indigenous, Mexican and Latin American cultures.

Mural of daily life

Panel 2: Memories & Lessons

Each of the memory bubbles depicts an activity that links to a lesson our elders have taught us. These memory and lessons bubbles include: food being a symbol of love, caretaking through gardening, learning about one’s culture through stories and cultural practices, the importance of education, fun is as important as work, new skills and hobbies keep us happy and busy and aging is a blessing.

Mural of daily life

Panel 3: Memories & Lessons

The memories and lessons shown across the mural were chosen with input from Community Bridges staff and clients, Senior Center participants, and the larger Watsonville community. Each memory bubble also depicts different ethnicities that make up the community of Watsonville.

Mural of elderly woman

Panel 4: La Doña

La Doña lovingly embraces California poppies, mug wort and lavender. Poppies symbolize the eternal life of the soul and were used as pain relief in indigenous cultures. While lavender represents love and protection and is used in smudge bundles during sweat lodge ceremonies. And mug wort was seen as a beacon of hope and used as medicine across the world.