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Development without Displacement

Development without Displacement

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Artist: Lucia M

Medium: Acrylic on wood panel

Narrative: In September 2022 I attended a rally in front of Santa Clara County Office calling to ask officials to deny permits for a proposed mining operation project that threatens Juristac (aka, 'Sargent Valley’) located near Gilroy, CA. Juristac is the most sacred site of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, who have held ceremonies there for thousands of years. It was one of the most powerful organized actions I have been a part of and exemplified how strong our voices can be together through grassroots organizing and eco-consciousness.

When called to do an art piece with the theme 'county strong' not only did I think of our community of people, but also including local wildlife. I chose to depict some federally-listed threatened species such as the California Tiger Salamander and Red-legged Frog. The loss of grasslands would also impact the American badger and birds of prey that forage in the area such as the Golden Eagle and Burrowing Owl. Also depicted is the Tar Creek which flows through Sargent Ranch. If the proposed project were to proceed this biodiverse network would cease to exist.

This is also a direct reflection of disconnect and displacement in our cities. Land stewardship begins with us and a people is only as strong as our connection to each other, our land, and wildlife. This art piece is an invitation to become familiar with, connect, and learn about local plants, animals, and indigenous life. There is still an active effort to deny permits for mining and protect these sacred lands, for more information visit

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