Although he often posts his work in minutes, Eddie Colla spent hours on Sierra's cover.| Photo by Lori Eanes
Taking It to the Street
We're not going to show you Eddie Colla's face. That's his preference as a street artist. But you've already seen an example of his work: this issue's cover.
Work. The word has taken on almost mythical significance at this moment of economic upheaval. As much as people need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and beautiful places to regenerate their spirits, they need jobs.
We decided to take this cover to the street after reading Scott Martelle's article "Kick Coal, Save Jobs, Right Now," which reveals how the Sierra Club helped forge an agreement with local labor organizers to shut down a pollution-belching asthma factory in Centralia, Washington. The compromise creates a smooth transition to a clean-energy economy for workers who will lose their jobs once the coal-fired power plant goes dark.
Sierra art director Tracy Cox tracked down Colla, who got permission to spruce up a wall in Oakland, California. Amid a sound track of clattering commuter trains and beeping forklifts, a crew of Sierra staffers watched Colla wallpaper-paste his 8-by-5-foot poster onto a brick building that was once, we're told, owned by a food-processing company. Surrounded by urban decay and the renewal that is blossoming too slowly in East Oakland's razor wire-crowned industrial zone, Colla rolled out a piece of art that we hope will prove inspirational.
What I see on that wall is a proud worker who stands poised to forsake 19th-century technology for a bold 21st-century future, producing energy that won't make his family sick.
Good work. Isn't that what we all want?
Colla accepted this Sierra job eagerly because it aligned with his values. "The urban landscape is lopsided—it's all advertisements," he told us. To adjust the balance, Colla hijacks that ubiquitous form of mass communication "to speak to the people." In this case, that's you. —Bob Sipchen, editor in chief
ON THE WEB Check out a behind-the-scenes video of how our cover art was created at sierraclub.org/eddiecolla.