RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Aug. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Juan Navarro wants to create art for everyone.
Inspired by his Mexican-American roots, the Riverside-based muralist leaves his mark on communities and organizations serving diverse populations with each swipe of his paint brush.
One of those groups includes Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), a Rancho Cucamonga-based not-for-profit health organization serving 1.6 million members in San Bernardino and Riverside counties through its mission of healing and inspiring the human spirit.
Navarro hopes to do the same with his art, partnering with IEHP to create multiple full-scale murals that celebrate the tapestry that makes the Inland Empire special. The first is underway in a central part of IEHP’s headquarters – its atrium – where hundreds of people travel through daily.
“I did want to create something that people gazed at and felt, ‘Yeah, this a great place for art,'” Navarro said. “We went through a lot of different versions of topics … but this one [an homage to a tree-lined street in Riverside] was the best that fit for this space, and we decided to focus on the regions IEHP serves across Riverside and San Bernardino counties.”
This collaboration is part of a company re-branding project that has been in the works and planning stages since 2022. IEHP launched a public procurement process to seek bids and potential artists, who were asked to submit a proposal of potential artwork. Navarro’s passion for the area and his reputation as a well-respected, young Latino leader in the community were among the many attributes that placed him at the top of the list, and there are discussions to incorporate Navarro’s art in other IEHP-branded materials suitable for future use.
“There’s just something incredibly inspiring about having art in one’s surroundings,” said Yahya Dawood, director of brand design and experience at IEHP. “And in many ways, our rebranding journey culminates with these beautiful murals in IEHP’s atrium space. Now our team members and visitors will be greeted – and hopefully, inspired – by these colorful scenes of the places we know and the people who we serve wholeheartedly in the Inland Empire.”
Navarro is looking to do a lot more with his art, like encouraging the next generation of artists to share their own stories through a medium of their choosing. He hopes to especially reach those living a similar story to his – because like them, Navarro grew up with little to his name as the child of an immigrant mother who moved to the U.S. from Mexico to create a better life.
“Coming from a space where there’s not a lot of hope to calling myself a ‘full-time artist’ brings me a lot of joy. To have that chance, this type of opportunity that is not available to everyone, I am so grateful,” he said. “I want to inspire others that were born with less to remember there’s always a way to grow if you dedicate your heart to something.
“Art is a luxury that adds to the human experience.”
About Juan Navarro
Juan Navarro is currently the artist-in-residence at Riverside Art Museum and, according to his bio, partners with local groups through workshops to “create informed, collaborative, and relevant public art for specific neighborhoods and initiatives.” He has more than 15 public works on displays in communities like Riverside and is the owner and operator of Eastside Arthouse. Juan recently visited The White House as a National Medal recipient with Riverside Art Museum for Library and Museum Service. To view his full bio, go to www.juannavarro.art/about.
With a mission to heal and inspire the human spirit, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans, the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country and for the third year in a row, certified as A Great Place To Work®. In its 27th year, IEHP supports more than 1.6 million Riverside and San Bernardino County residents enrolled in Medicaid or IEHP DualChoice (those with both Medi-Cal and Medicare). Today, IEHP has a growing network of 7,000 providers and 3,000 team members who are fully committed to the vision: We will not rest until our communities enjoy optimal care and vibrant health. To learn more, visit iehp.org.
SOURCE Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inland-empire-health-plan-launches-collaboration-with-riverside-muralist-juan-navarro-301893142.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com
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