There is Beauty in the World

By Morgan Bricca November 20, 2011
Over the past two months I have had the privilege of creating 5 different public murals. I love the opportunity to create in public spaces because the beautiful scenes I create might bring a slice of joy and beauty, a small blessing, into people’s lives today and in the years to come. I am so proud to share with you the stories of two of these public projects in this newsletter!

Siena Youth Center in Redwood City

Yesterday I went to the dedication ceremony of the Siena Youth Center. It is a standing testament the the beautiful dreams of a handful of determined people, now manifested in this gorgeous community center and gym, that will offer a safer, more connected, and more hopeful future for the predominantly first generation immigrant families in North Fair Oaks. This building was an undertaking of The St. Francis Center , based just up the street. This non-profit organization provides substantial hands-on support to the community, including housing, food, clothing and education. Their endeavors are both ambitious and awe inspiring. Now they can add to their resources a vibrant youth center (with a slick mural!) to help keep kids off the streets and on-track with after school sports and tutoring. I feel so proud to have been a part of this project. They are always looking for help, so if you ever considered teaching English, Zumba, or anything in between, this is a great community and organization to get involved with that is not far from home.

Grand Opening of the Siena Youth Center

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Juana Briones Primary Grades Garden Mural

About four years ago I painted a one hundred foot long mural on the north end of the Juana Briones campus, next to the library. Kim Perlmutter, of Designing Spaces by Kim, designed a beautiful reading garden that went in front of the mural, and during recess and lunch these spaces get a lot of use from kids escaping the craziness of the playground.

Last month, with funds raised from the parents, teachers and community, Juana Briones invited Kim and I back to create an art and garden space for the primary grades. For my part, I wanted to create vibrant, playful, and colorful garden vignettes to transform the primary grades area into a destination, not just a pass-through. A LOT of surfaces were painted, and much to the delight of the children, lots of little bugs, snakes, chickens, frogs and hidden fairies were incorporated in to the “art plantings”.

I want to share a bit about two amazing people who made this project happen. The first is Kim, who after losing her only son to a fluke illness 5 years ago has dug deep in herself, created a business doing what she loves, beautifying the world through plants and megawatt inspiration. The second is Pamela Dappen, a second grade teacher at Juana Briones who headed this project up, working overtime and out of pocket to make this happen. I see the beautiful gifts they are bringing to their communities through their focused efforts, and I am deeply touched by their commitment to make the world a better place. I’ll be honest: I just show up and paint. It is people like Kim and Pamela, and Sister Christina Heltsley at the St. Francis Center, that provide the spark and vision that bring community and resources together to make it happen.

mural image

Wagon Boy
There is a lot to see here! Please click through to my website to see all the detail photos.

Juana Briones Image Montage

I love that it is my job to see beauty in the world, capture it, and deliver it in a big way. My brother turned me on to the song “Beauty in the World” by Macy Gray, and it is one of the best songs I have ever had stuck in my head. When I think about what I am most grateful for in my life, it is that I have the capacity to bring more beauty into the world, through my painting, family, and small daily efforts (i.e. cooking and cleaning).

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Whether you will be with family, spending it in the Bahamas, stuck in an airport for 12 hours, or any approximate combination of the above, I hope that you are blessed with seeing “Beauty in the World!”

Blessings to you!

Morgan Bricca
Morgan Mural Studios

Fall is my favorite time of year. This time of year I settle down from the high energy, loco-motion filled summer. I experience a psychological sigh of relief at the first week of foul weather when I have to stay indoors, settle in to a cup of tea, and ponder a season of doing less. Fall nudges me towards greater introspection, retrospection and prospection.

It all coincides with my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, where I get to reflect on the bounty in my life. In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to share with you some things I am grateful for. This list could easily be 10 pages long, but in consideration of your time, here is a brief list of things I am grateful for:

I am so grateful to live in the Bay Area. The beautiful natural environment, social diversity, strong economy, weather, thoughtful people, and great arts culture all make NorCal ROCK.

I am grateful for good health. I am nearing forty and everything still works great. Yay!

I am grateful for my family. They nudge me towards silliness, new adventures and present joy.

I am grateful to my clients, for trusting me with their walls and for providing me with a venue to pursue my passion.

I am grateful for my car. Almost 200,000 miles together, and it is one of the more dependable things in my life. A few paint spills here and there, but she is still as roomy and capable as ever.

I am grateful for the abundance of fresh food available to me. Eating has never been more fun.

I am grateful for forgiveness. I am one headstrong lady, and not very easy to live with. I am grateful that my sweet husband continues to hang out with me, eat dinner with me, dance with me and love me.

I am grateful to live in the United States. Our system is far from perfect, but spending a month in Cuba gave me a deeper appreciation of all the things that do work well in our country.

I am grateful to have easy access to well made paints and brushes. When I imagine living 150 years ago, preparing all my own colors, or tackling a hog to get a nice bristle brush, the price, quality and selection available in my local art store seem pretty fantastic.

I am grateful for sports. I love games, competition, running around, playing, sweating, giving it my all. Pure fun. I am grateful I don’t have to play tennis in a burka.

I am grateful to the vision and creativity of the people who brought me my iPad and smartphone. Not two years ago I would decline social activities so I could go home and check e-mails. I would get lost finding a clients house or misplace slips of paper with important phone numbers. I used to lug around a 20 lb. “life binder” with contact info, various lists, calendars and schedules, mural photo books, CD’s…. now I can get all my information on the go, and for a “mobile warrior” like me, the iPad is awesome.

I am grateful for music. When I am painting, music is my companion. I love that there is so much great music being made, and that it is readily available. With my iPod, I don’t need to worry about lugging around a record player, or flipping the tape over. The human expression of music is so wide, so extraordinary, so powerful. It is a huge, uplifting gift in my life.

I am grateful for my community. My art show last month was so much FUN, due mostly to the awesome friends, family, and neighbors who were there. A big chunk of the people who came out to support my event are friends I have made through the local public school my kids attend. I feel so blessed by this great community of people. It’s gettin’ REAL in North Los Altos!

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca is a mural artist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her clients run the gamut from professional creatives, including architects and designers to building owners, school administrators and community advocates. When she is not making art, Morgan enjoys sipping boba tea with her kids and taking naps on the couch.


Our entire staff enthusiastically appreciates the artistic transformation of our clinic. The kids here for medical services LOVE the murals as well. One of our young patients returned from emergency psychiatric services for a self-harm issue and when she came into our office she had a huge smile upon seeing the mural. It is amazing to all of us how immediately a depressed patient responded to the mural art.

It has been a pleasure to work with you. We love both your work and the positive environment and spirit you have instilled in our kids.  Once again Morgan, thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart.

Warm regards,

Chia-Chen Lee
Juvenile Hall Medical Clinic Pediatrics

Review for Juvenile Hall Mural Project by Chia-Chen Lee

Morgan blew it out of the water.  As a general contractor, I would say my decision to hire Morgan for this mural is one of the best decisions I have made in terms of impact of my work.  Every kid will remember this mural as long as he or she shall live. Watching a child see the mural for the first time is an experience words can’t describe. It’s mesmerizing to them. Adults too, for that matter. It’s a show stopper.  So much better than I could have ever imagined.

I would go out of my very busy way to recommend Ms. Morgan Bricca on every possible level, with no hesitation. Please feel free to call me if you are considering hiring Morgan but can’t quite take the leap. I will be glad to push you in.

Chris Carver
Aquatic Management Group
Raleigh, North Carolina

Mural artist review by Chris Carver

Morgan offers a unique collaborative approach with her clients. On our project, she struck the perfect balance; she listened to our ideas and feedback but very much maintained her role as the creative expert, making us feel comfortable the entire time.

I would absolutely recommend Morgan with no hesitation. With all that she has done, she is going to find the right approach for just about any client.

Jonathan Meyer
VP, Marketing and Community Relations
San Mateo Credit Union

Mural painter review by Jonathan Meyer

We absolutely love our mural! I anticipated that it would add beauty and a much-needed “nature element” onto our campus, I never could have imagined what a huge impact this would have on our school. I have seen countless children, parents, and teachers walk by in awe, totally captivated. Not only does it make our campus a brighter, more beautiful place to learn and play, it reminds our entire community of the tremendous importance of art. This is a gift beyond measure, especially in tech-obsessed silicon valley. Once again, you have exceeded my (already high) expectations!

You are so fun, inspiring and professional to work with and your projects in our kinder yard and now this mural have been my most satisfying collaborations on PTA.


Christy Flahavan
PTA President
Springer Elementary School

Mural Artist Review for Springer Elementary School by Christy Flahavan

The real value and pleasure of working with Morgan was that we connected with her. She was very personable, very sincere, very collaborative, but not one to sit back and let us lead it in a wrong direction. We trusted her completely from the past work she had done for us, and told her, “here is a wall, do something with it – surprise us.” It’s like dealing with a friend.

The murals she has created for us make our home more intimate, warm, and personal. I was surprised at how quickly she worked, how easily it got done, and how watching the process was enlightening. It just flowed; it was like watching a very large masterpiece being created before our very eyes. It was especially interesting when she got into the tonality and the tints. For us, it turned out better than we could have expected. I absolutely recommend her without a doubt.

Mural Painter Review by Sandy Bland

Morgan, the mural you created for our building has been a major attraction for both locals and visitors in Downtown Napa. The transformation of an eye sore, to a work of art, has been nothing short of amazing. I feel a little guilty receiving so many compliments for your work, however that doesn’t stop me from stealing part of your credit. Your attention to detail and sensitivity, bringing the Wappo tribe into the process, unified Napa’s residents with its history. This public recognition of the Wappo Indians is long overdue, reminding us all of a different time in the Napa Valley when nature and people could live harmoniously.

Every day, as I watch children and adults transported to an earlier time in the Napa Valley, I appreciate your ability to be the vehicle for their journey. I hope soon you will return to sprinkle some more fairy dust on another wall, so I can watch your magic talented creations at work.

Thank You,
Michael L Holcomb

Mural Artist Review by Michael L Holcomb

Hi Morgan,

We had an end of the school year party at our house and everyone raved about your mural. I see your name and date, 2012, on it and can’t believe it was 4 years ago.

Just wanted you to know it brings me joy every day.

Josh Weinstock

Mural Artist Review by Josh Weinstock

I have worked with Morgan on five mural projects at our house over the past six years. I love her work and she is a pleasure to work with. Once you see how transformed your space is by the first mural, it is easy to start seeing other rooms that could benefit from a “Morgan”.

Susan Wojicki
CEO, YouTube

Mural Painter Review by Susan Wojicki

Morgan’s work is exquisite. She loves what she does, works extremely fast, and is a true pleasure to work with.

David DaPonte
Architect, HKS

Mural Painter Review by David DaPonte

Without fail, anytime someone comes to our house who hasn’t seen the painting, they comment on it and how much they like it.

Adam King
Director, Intel Corporation


Mural Painter Review by Adam King