Senior Becca Falk paints her mark on Marin

Loughlin Browne

As seniors reflect on how they have left their mark on the community before they graduate, senior Becca Falk has a physical answer. She was recently commissioned to paint a mural on the doors of the Corte Madera Community Center, hoping to transform the plain eight glass doors into a tribute to Marin County and her graduating class. 

“The proposal that I sent in was Mount [Tamalpais,] the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin’s flowers, and they said I could give a shout out to Redwood graduates,” Falk said.

Facing the street outside the Corte Madera Community Center, the finished mural celebrates Marin’s natural beauty.

Falk was introduced to this opportunity after being assigned a hypothetical mural proposal in her drawing and painting class. Art teacher Lauren Bartone prompted her to reach out to the Corte Madera 

Community Center to share her art with the community. Bartone is proud that Falk had the initiative to take the project a step further with her encouragement.

 “She’s a super motivated artist … It’s really obvious that she’s always drawn on her own. [She] would do my assignments and then some, and do other side projects all the time. So her skill level is really high, and you only get that way when you do work independently and have a passion for it,” Bartone said. 

Though she has always drawn, Falk was self-taught until she decided to take art her senior year. Falk credits her elevation in commitment to her free time in quarantine; she started practicing almost every day at home out of boredom and her interest grew. 

“That was really the only thing I was doing at home. I started to get a lot better, just doing it on my own. My whole living room was filled with art supplies,” Falk said.

Art appealed to Falk because she could practice anytime to feel relaxed. She appreciates being able to do her art while multitasking or with her friends.

“You can do [art] at your home or wherever you are. It’s pretty peaceful and relaxing, and you can also do it [while] you’re watching TV or listening to music. It’s also something you can do with other people. You don’t really have to be good to do it, it’s still fun regardless,” Falk said.

While the mural is Falk’s largest project so far, she has been recognized for her art before. She won Redwood’s senior logo contest and designed the senior jersey. She also started using her artistic talent for professional means last year during quarantine by selling stickers and custom paintings to her friends

Hanging on her friend’s wall, Becca’s commissioned paintings for her friends celebrate Marin’s natural beauty too.

and people at school. Camille Karner has been friends with Falk throughout high school and was excited to buy her friend’s artwork over quarantine.

“I had her paint three 11” by 8” pictures of ocean landscapes for my room. They’re really good, I’ve had a copy of it up on my walls for months,” Karner said. “She’s always liked drawing. I think that that graphic design would be a good way for her [to continue art]. She’s definitely talented.”

While ocean landscapes such as those drawn for Karner are one of Falk’s favorite subjects to paint, Bartone doesn’t believe that she’s pinned down to one topic. 

“She thinks a lot about beauty. In our assignments, she’s done everything from landscapes to portraits, and she’s working on a more fashion piece right now. But in all of those, aesthetic beauty is really clear as a dominant motivation,” Bartone said.

Bartone believes that Falk has true talent, alongside her passion and effort. While she does not think Falk is limited to one style, she thinks that Falk has a distinct quality to her art that one can see displayed throughout her pieces.

“I can see when she made a piece, You can tell when a piece is hers, you can see her voice showing through. [In a piece], I can see [when] it’s her brush strokes,” Bartone said. “I’m really excited to see what she does with [the mural].”