Art is a form of expression and spreads a message to make a change. Two artists established a mural to bring awareness and hope for dreamer students.
The mural “Dreams with No Borders,” on the fourth floor of University Library, represents the struggles and dreams of undocumented students with the image of a monarch butterfly, symbolizing freedom and the migration of immigrants in search for better lives.
Student Mirian Juan Estrella and alumnus Tom Dwyer-Gutierrez created the mural to advocate for undocumented students.
“My hope is to encourage Dreamers, many of whom are my friends, to keep doing what they are doing, and for them to know that one more person on campus and in the U.S. is for them,” said Dwyer-Gutierrez, who works as a student success and outreach specialist at the Poly Transfer.
Dwyer-Gutierrez felt honored and truly humbled to have been part of this mural.
His goal was to create something beautiful that would attract the eye of individuals and spread a positive message
The background of the mural represents the hills surrounding the Cal Poly Pomona campus.
Then, the artists added inspiring words to motivate undocumented students to continue believing and to never give up on their dreams.
The concept of the monarch butterfly emphasizes that human migration shouldn’t be looked down upon.
Immigrants come to the United States in search of new opportunities to live a better life.
Mike Manalo-Pedro, coordinator of the undocumented student services, had a vision to create this mural for the open house event held a couple of months ago at the Bronco Dreamers Resource Center.
Estrella was invited to collaborate along with Dwyer-Gutierrez to start designing the mural including the butterfly.
Since Estrella loves giving back to the community and empowering underrepresented students, she was excited to be part of this movement.
Both of the artists believed that the creation of the mural and showcasing it on campus will acknowledge the presence of undocumented students.
Then, everyone on campus will be aware of difficulties and struggles undocumented students face in the country.
Estrella felt very grateful with the opportunity of having the mural displayed at the library because it’s significant to her heart.
This mural reminds her of her family, the obstacles she has faced, and how she has been able to overcome them.
“It gives me hope and in a way comforts me to know that others will find hope in it,” said Estrella with a major in applied mathematics, treasurer of D.E.P.I.E. and a program assistant for the undocumented student services.
Erandi Rivera, a fourth-year student with a major in gender, ethnicity and multicultural studies, is proud to see the mural at the library because it makes her feel represented.
“The mural is important to the Dreamers because it makes us feel welcome. [It] makes us feel like we belong,” Rivera said.
The Dreamers’ mural is a great addition to the diverse population on campus.
It’s an important piece of art highlighting an issue well connected to the diverse campus.
The mural is displayed on the fourth floor of the library, located on campus in Building 26-101.
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