STORY BY AVNI RAJAGOPAL, PHOTO COURTESY LOS ALTOS HISTORY MUSEUM
From chic, modern line art to blossoming flowers and vibrant colors, Morgan Bricca’s murals add flair, character and a sense of togetherness to the walls of her community. You may have glimpsed her work at schools like Egan Junior High School, Blach Middle School and Almond Elementary.
A home renovation project was where the commision-based muralist got her start. She had never considered art as a career choice until painting a window in order to liven up a stairwell in her home awakened her to an unexpected love for painting walls. Soon enough, Bricca went from repainting windows in her home to creating larger-than-life murals throughout her community.
“I was blindsided, honestly, by it,” Bricca said. “It tickled a part of my brain that was just so interesting for me.”
From there, Bricca says her enthusiasm is what led her to successfully turn her newfound love into a business. Her knack for art helped word spread like wildfire, and after initially working on projects for family and friends, her customer base expanded to the larger community.
Eventually, thanks to her unwavering enthusiasm, Bricca began receiving commissions, growing her passion into the flourishing business it is today. Now, she paints in schools, companies and homes, creating paintings in a multitude of styles to fit the client and the space.
“Every client has such a different idea about what would be beautiful for themself,” Bricca said.
Bricca said her art provides her with many of the qualities she looks for in a job, including the ability to express herself, the opportunity to meet interesting people and sometimes even exercise. There are certain physical demands that come with working at such a large scale (ladder climbing, covering large surfaces, etc). But the most rewarding aspect for Bricca is the accompanying sense of purpose.
“[When I’m not painting], I don’t really feel like I get this deep grounding in myself, and painting gives that to me,” she said.
Using her art to benefit the community and make people happy keeps her motivated. Children celebrate the imaginative magic of her butterfly wings mural, which features a butterfly positioned intentionally for viewers to take pictures and pretend they have wings.
“I know that I’m using my artwork as a service, to bring joy to people … So it’s not really about me, per se, it’s about being of service,” Bricca said. “And that is so gratifying.”
According to Bricca, “the essence of mural art” is leaving a part of yourself on the painted wall, something for others to connect to. With her upcoming talk at the Los Altos History Museum, Bricca is taking a similar leap of openness, and she hopes that — just like her murals — her words will stir connection.
In Bricca’s presentation, she will entertain listeners with stories about her journey in painting, examples of her earlier works of art and anecdotes about her murals. Her message is how simply trying something new can open up a whole world of opportunities and happiness.
“‘Passion just scares people,” Bricca said. “It’s more like this quiet tug.”
That “quiet tug” that Bricca felt as she painted a window in her stairwell eventually brought her to where she is today: running a business of spreading paint and creativity.
“It’s only painting,” Bricca said. “It’s not like I’m changing the world, but … it just feels like the thing I’m supposed to be doing.”