Artist: AQMNI (Ethel + Carlo Zafranco)
Location: Palmdale Transportation Center
39000 Clock Tower Plaza Dr. E
Installation Date: April 2023
Our design for this project showcases a waste management worker’s hand reaching for a hand that is forming out of water. We wanted to highlight the members/workers of the community who actually perform the labor of managing our collective waste. We chose the water element to represent our symbiotic relationship with nature and its resources. Within the hand, we see an occurrence of osmosis that separates paint waste from the body of water. This is a representation of our growing awareness and efforts in doing our part to care for our planet. Through this paint collection day, we are saving our water sources from any paint that may have found its way into contaminating our sources. We felt that humanizing nature makes it more relatable for others to grasp the importance of caring for our planet as we care for our own bodies. The moon in the background parallels the symbiotic relationship between its gravitational pull on the tides and the paint’s pulling out of water.
About the Artists
AQMNI is a husband-and-wife artist team who creates custom-designed murals that tell stories through bold, imaginative art pieces.
Carlo Zafranco, the Aquarius, has a graphic design and animation background and has worked for Disney, Marvel, and Universal, among others. His current focus is to use his experience to empower underserved communities and BIPOC youth so they can pave their own paths through the arts. He also wants to develop a mentorship initiative where interested youth can learn and get hands-on experience to pursue a creative career path.
Ethel Zafranco, the Gemini, was placed in a program that provided a platform for youth to express themselves creatively through arts, crafts, theater, photos, and film. She studied fine art in high school and earned her multimedia arts BA from LMU. Creatively, her career has taken the form of digital photography and video editing for social media content creation for e-commerce businesses. She has since found an outlet for expressing her emotions through conceptual portraiture. During the pandemic, she decided to bring the opportunity of expression and healing through the arts to underserved youth and communities.
After quitting their “creative” corporate jobs, they sold everything they had and packed the bare necessities into a backpack set to travel the world. While staying on a small organic farm on the Big Island of Hawaii, their host asked if they were up for the challenge of creating a mural in the barn. They accepted, thus reigniting their creative drives, and AQMNI was born.