Reflecting & Rejoicing Celebrating 60 Years of Impact »

In June, The Fruitvale Business Improvement District (BID), in collaboration with a local artist and volunteers, painted a mural on Transmatic Transmission, a mechanic shop located on 3901 International Boulevard on the corner of 37th Avenue and International Boulevard. The lead muralist was Debbie Koppman, a Fruitvale resident and frequent contributor to public art.

The mural is part of the BID’s beautification efforts to reduce vandalism on commercial property. Colorful murals on the commercial corridor have significantly reduced tagging and illegal dumping. Maria Sanchez, BID Program Manager always says, “If it looks pretty, people keep it pretty.”

With input from the business owners, the colorful mural depicts a glimpse of the history of transportation. On the top right of the mural, you will see a donkey to represent the very first form of transportation people used before motor vehicles existed. The bottom of the murals shows classic cars from the 1940s to the 1960s. The owner of Transmatic Transmission loves classic cars, and he requested that the mural included some of his favorite cars.

It took 2 months to complete the mural, Debbie said. “I loved the process. I talked to lots of different people… the majority was interested in cars, many of them were youth.”

In addition to painting the mural, Debbie welcomed an art class from a local elementary school to talk about the process of creating a mural. The class was learning about muralism, and they wanted to ask Debbie about all kinds of questions.

If you would like to volunteer for the BID’s next beautification project contact Maria Sanchez at

Special thanks to Visit Oakland for funding the mural and to Gil Alonso, the owner of the wall.