This weekend, New York City bid farewell (for now) to a Thrive Collective original, as Kekoa returned to Oakland after a nearly two decade run in the Big Apple. Even as he brings Thrive Collective with him to the Bay, he leaves his mark in scores of schools and communities throughout our great City.
As the senior artist on our team, Kekoa worked on our very first school mural at PS/MS 34 in 2007; designed our first logo and postcards; built our first website; taught in a dozen schools; art directed fifteen murals; helped conceive and lead the Bring Art Back campaign; served as our senior project manager; directed our studio arts programs; designed and produced most of our merchandise; and served as in-house ninja / Kajukenbo martial arts sifu to many of us. Even better, he is a devoted friend and reliable gap filler who helped insure our successes by his consistency and faithfulness. He also coined a favorite mantra among our interns: “Thrive or Die!”
Special thanks to Abounding Grace Ministries for featuring him at your first ever Artist Gathering, and to AGM’s Artist-in-Residence Nell Escalante, Pastor Louis Carlo, Kristen Leung, Marissa Molina, The Clemente, and the entire Abounding Grace and Thrive Collective families for giving Kekoa an appropriate sendoff. We love you, Koa, and anticipate greatness for you in California.