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The Del Rio Trail Project

A creative project of photography & mixed media by Roberta Alvarado, owner of New Bird Studio, for the Department of Art and Culture, Sacramento, California. Click on images to learn more, see more images, videos, read interviews & to fully experience.

Sarah Al Zanoon, Palestine (Click on image to see more)


Lorena, Colombia (Click on image to see more)


Danny, America ( Click on image to see more)


Jay, India ( Click on image to see more)


Brigitte, Ivory Coast (Click on image to see more)


Houa, Hmong ( Click on image to see more )


Del Rio Trail Project: Sol y Tierra


Artist’s Statement: 


“In Sacramento everyone's a minority-including white”… “Although many cities are diverse (think New York City or Los Angeles), in Sacramento people seem to live side by side more successfully.”   - Times Magazine 


Much of our community is deeply rooted in ancestral traditions. Within these traditions we discover commonalities. In the exhibit, "Del Rio Trail: Sol y Tierra" the images are on fragile shared paper and move through a day following the sun, telling a story from all corners of the world and now woven within the fibers that make Sacramento.  It’s a story of Sacramentan’s living in grace, harmony and reverence for the elements and Creator/s.  The clothing and words spoken may differ yet please take note of the common threads.


I believe in peace. If we each use our gifts in the direction of peace and we gain a greater understanding of one another there will be less suffering. Through learning about each other we can grow our empathy and compassion, our love, PEACE


One day, maybe 8 years ago, my father’s neighbor passed away. He didn’t know his neighbor beyond a polite wave. For the next several days family and community visited. There was music, prayers, food, and ceremony.  I started to think about all the traditions from around the world that are practiced by our neighbors and coworkers that we know nothing about. 


My daughter’s were in Aztec Danza for years. It was important for us to connect with our ancestors and honor their sacrifices to preserve traditions. ​Indigenous ancestors here, and around the world, risked their lives for the simple act of practicing our rituals and traditions. To preserve them is to honor the risks and punishments our ancestors endured and sacrificed to keep them alive.


I became aware of how naturally we can become encapsulated in our own world and not understand one another. This project is acknowledging Sacramento's Indigenous cultures. I'm specifically focused on 5 individuals from different continents who dedicate their life to preserving their cultural practices and traditions for future generations. They, and many others, devote their time and energies with heart, soul, and a sense of obligation.


One of many gifts we receive from ancestral traditions is the wisdom in mindfulness and living with reverence for our natural surroundings. Every walk along the Del Rio Trail is an opportunity to feel the connection to one’s ancestors, nature, and community. 




Roberta Alvarado


of New Bird Studio





Artist Statement

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