Titled “Kiku Dreaming,” this mural was completed by artist Claudio Talavera-Ballon in August 2020. (“Kiku” is Japanese for chrysanthemum.) The mural spans three walls on the center two-story building in the Roosevelt Center Plaza, located at 2149 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City California.
The mural unveiling took place over Zoom on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. Watch the entire mural unveiling ceremony on Youtube or read the agenda here. In addition to the artist, speakers included:
Karen Peterson, a longtime community member whose family was one of the Japanese pioneers of the local chrysanthemum industry.
Grace Shimizu, Director of Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project
This project was funded by the Redwood City 150th Celebration Committee, the RWCPAF, and Peninsula Company, Inc. Learn more here about the efforts of this committee to celebrate Redwood City’s more than 150 years of history. For questions or comments, contact Cary, CATA Director, at .
In the news:
September 17, 2020: The Six Fifty: “Redwood City was dethroned as a world flower capital; now one mural pays tribute“
September 1, 2020: San Mateo Daily Journal: “Redwood City welcomes new historical art”
August 11, 2020. Climate Magazine: “Stunning mural at the Roosevelt Plaza takes place”
The History Behind the Art
The mural features images and themes from the historical and cultural history of Redwood City. In particular, the mural focuses on the historic local chrysanthemum industry with its pioneer Japanese American growers, Redwood Creek, and various famous commercial sites such as Frank’s Tannery.
Learn more about theses histories below by viewing the historical image slideshow and reading excerpts from Redwood City’s 2017 150th Celebration magazine and the local Climate Magazine. You can also review a brochure map of downtown Redwood City with images and descriptions for historical locations.
The Redwood City Chrysanthemum Industry & Its Japanese-American Pioneers: “Redwood City Was the “Chrysanthemum Capital of the World” by Jim Clifford in Climate Magazine.
The Industries of Redwood City: “Hard Work Has Kept Redwood City Going Forward” by Jill Singleton.
The Redwood Creek & Port of Redwood City: “Redwood City’s Berth-Place: The Story of the Port” by Duane Sandul