Angeline Navarro: Spotlighting Art and Community Engagement

Angeline Navarro: Spotlighting Art and Community Engagement

Q: Angeline, it's such a pleasure to have you here at the city. Can you tell us a little bit about how you started combining your passion for art with community events?

A: I have always had a passion for art, from drawing to photography. When I entered my high school years, that’s when I took it more seriously and had the opportunity to enter many art competitions every year, including the battle of the flowers band festival for San Antonio. Close to the end of my high school years, I started working for the City of Pleasanton & in November of 2020 I was asked to assist with the city parade, where I drew a few characters that were displayed on the city council float. At first, it was just small things, like drawing characters and creating small props, however in 2021 I became in charge of designing/decorating all future floats for council, including any types of props or decor needed at the city events.

Q: The "Art in the Park" initiative was a big hit among the residents, especially the kids. What inspired you to undertake such a unique project, and how did you manage to paint over 250 rocks for the event?

Angeline 4A: I was so happy seeing the community enjoying the little rock hunt, especially the kids. To be honest, this was one of my favorite projects. I was able to doodle cartoon characters, write inspirational quotes and draw funny jokes. What inspired me was that I wanted to do something that could bring people to the park but also put a smile on their face. I made tons of colorful rocks including lots of dad jokes (I love dad jokes, haha). My top three favorites were a piece of paper that was holding a microphone and had a backwards cap, I called it “rapping paper” then I did two geese giving each other a fist bump and called it “goosebumps” and lastly, I did a traffic cone screaming and called it “I scream cone”. So I was able to combine my two favorite things - art and laughter - and I wanted to share that with my hometown.

Q: Your designs for the city council floats have won first place at Cowboy Heritage Days and Cowboy Homecoming. Can you share a bit about your creative process for designing these floats and the time commitment it usually entails?

A: First, I want to recognize the foremen for the parks and rec department, Enrique. He has been a huge help; he can create anything! He’s able to make my sketches a reality. My creative process is everywhere. When it comes to designing something, I think about it all day, so I’ll be at work thinking of all the things I can make and when inspiration strikes, I either sketch on paper or on my iPad all my ideas. The cowboy boot was inspired by a drawing I did back in high school. So, when Erique created the structure of the huge cowboy boot for cowboy homecoming, I was so excited! Then I added the flowers to give it the spring vibe. When creating the cowboy heritage float, I did a lot of research about Pleasanton, I visited the longhorn museum and I even read a book given to me by Mr. Alviso, talking about Pleasanton’s history. So, Enrique built a small structure, and I was able to recreate a store that used to be in Pleasanton called “Moore and Moore” and incorporated a windmill. The time I take to do all of this is about a little over a month, but I learned that I need to plan everything ahead of time because juggling a full-time job and doing these kinds of projects can be overwhelming.

Q: Community engagement through art is a powerful tool. How do you see your work impacting the community, and what feedback have you received from residents about your projects?

A: I have seen a huge impact with my work, especially with the kids. I love seeing kids pointing and being so shocked at my work and how excited they get to take a picture with the props. I have received nothing but positive feedback, which motivates me to continue and to make my next project more extravagant and surprising.

Q: Could you share a memorable moment or experience you’ve had while working on your art projects for the city?

A: This whole art opportunity has been a huge experience for me. I never thought I would be doing art projects for the city for a whole community to enjoy. This has really helped me stay in touch with who I really am. I will always be grateful for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to see what else I can create for Pleasanton.

Q: Looking ahead, do you have any upcoming projects or ideas that you’re excited about bringing to our city?

A: Upcoming projects? Yes!! I will be finishing a project I started last year, at the pool. It should be completed by the time pool season opens! I hope everyone enjoys it! And I am currently working on some props for the Cinco de Mayo event happening next month, so keep an eye out. And for the summer, I am collaborating with the Parks Department on a summer activity - I hope many join us! For the future, I hope to bring other artists to light in Pleasanton to display their artwork and get to know what makes them passionate too, and possibly doing something as a community. Those ideas are still in the works, but I can’t wait!

Q: For individuals inspired by you and wanting to contribute to our community in creative ways, what advice would you give them?

A: I would tell them to go for it! Being creative is a huge talent and should be shared with the world. Never hold back what makes you happy and art will always be a powerful tool.

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