• BridgingBorders

Love, Leadership & Art - by Ruby Chacón

Artist, Ruby Chacón, shares her thoughts on the recently finished mural she created with faculty from the School of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University.

“The greatest work of art is love”.... This quote hit me so profoundly and on many levels. What I couldn’t voice before creating this mural is that to work with community it takes vulnerability, pain, loss, and also so much reward over time. But first you have to do the work of creating the art of loving yourself. 


In the attempt to tap into what it means to represent leadership, the symbols and images intuitively spoke to me from the workshops with Gonzaga faculty and from my own personal experience. However, none of it worked until the universe guided me to the work of a Charlene Teters. She is a Spokane Native, who has been doing arts and activism for a long time. She spoke out in the very beginnings of “We are not Mascots” movement.


Slowly, change happens but not without the love and dedication it takes to speak out when no one else is. This mural could not exist without the strength and love of those who find themselves in leadership without asking for it, but rather because it chooses you. This artwork marks the dedication, patience, love and respect it takes to work in partnership with community even through times when you are not sure and hesitant. This painting gives reverence to all the people who have the courage to act one step at a time when no one else is and the tenacity to turn one voice, one whisper, into a collective voice of power and presence.

This mural is the culmination of a participatory arts based process that involved the staff and faculty of the School of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University working with Ruby Chacón and supported by Bridging Borders partners Teresa Molina, Rosey Hunter, and Kimberly Schmit. An unveiling will be planned for later this year!


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