Paradise - CODAworx


Submitted by Noe Montes

Client: California Air Resources Board

Location: Riverside, CA, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $150,000

Project Team

Project Management

Emily Womack

Dyson and Womack


Jason Pilarski

Machine Histories


This project was commissioned by the California Air Resources Board. It is comprised of multiple parts: a photo-documentary body of work, a series of online education modules about air quality and its effects on residents of the inland empire and a public artwork installed at the campus of CARB’s new Southern California Headquarters.

Photographs from the documentary body of work were combined into the design of an artwork titled “Paradise”. This mural is installed at the California Air Resources Board new Southern California campus located in Riverside California. The mural is approximately 84 feet long by 12 feet high and it is made up of panels of the material Richlite which have been machined to depict a design that combines resident portraits and natural elements of the Inland Empire.


The physical expression of this multifaceted project is a relief sculpture that is installed on the front entrance foyer auditorium wall in the Southern California Consolidation Project for
the California Air Resources Board.

The process and product of this project accomplishes several things: it uses the community’s own history and personal narratives to educate people about the issue of air quality and environmental justice, it helps guide people toward finding their personal sense of
agency, and it creates a dialogue between the various stakeholders around the issue of air quality. In a complementary fashion, it brings the community into CARB’s space through an installation that makes a bold statement about the agency’s commitment to equity, inclusivity, community voice and representation and it serves as a visual cue for visitors and staff to reflect on the meaning and importance of the California Air Resources Board’s day to day work.


The creation of this public artwork began with a year of research and field work that consisted of interviews and photography of residents of California's Inland Empire to collect the stories of the effects of air pollution on themselves, their families and their communities.

Photographs of the residents and of local landscape and flora were selected to create a balance of representation that includes the important aspects of this issue: regional history, geographic area, age, gender, race, public health impact, and respect for nature. The images were then arranged in a way that represents the continuity of these people’s work for the environment and illustrates a model for how we will succeed in achieving a balance between our needs as a society and the health of our world and everyone in it.

Once the design was finalized it was CNC machined into 4 x 8 foot panels of the material Richlite. The panels were then installed to create a mural on the front auditorium wall of the California Air Resources Board’s new campus in Riverside. Fabrication and installation was done by Machine Histories. Facilitation and coordination between all the involved parties was done by Dyson and Womack.