A story-inspired mural

Brian and the Bugs welcomes families to experience its vibrant colors and creatures that tell a story of connectedness.

Inspired by her illustrated children’s book, Brian the Wildflower,  Katie Ruiz’s Brian and the Bugs mural is a visual story of connectedness that transforms over 1,000 square feet of the Museum’s walls on the Main Level. Flowers, butterflies, crickets and other insects from the story are depicted in the mural under a pompom “rain shower” spilling from the ceiling overhead, reminding us that cycles of life continue, even in the face of adversity. The mural welcomes families returning to the Museum, offering hope for new growth.

Thanks to our visitors, members and Valley Elementary students and Girls Scouts, there are now 500 colorful fluffy pom poms handing above the mural.


Artist Talk with Katie Ruiz

How can color and shape provide comfort in trying times? Museum Deputy Director Tomoko Kuta joined artist Katie Ruiz for a discussion of hope, welcome and plans for Ruiz’s new mural, Brian and the Bugs, at the Museum.


Story Time with Katie Ruiz

Katie Ruiz reads her children’s book, Brian the Wildflower, for our Toddler Time at Home programming. Purchase the book on the Museum online store here.

Who Made This?

Katie Ruiz
1984, Los Angeles
lives in
San Diego, California

Visual storytelling is at the heart of Katie Ruiz’s work. She is known for her “blanket paintings” in which figures shelter under colorful weavings inspired by Ruiz’s Xicana heritage and her study of traditional Mexican textiles. Like the Otomí women in Mexico who have for generations told stories through embroidered animals and shapes, Ruiz draws on her Xicana ancestry and personal story to tell visual tales of love and loss.