While at SMU González also began to pursue work in the community through an Engaged Learning Fellowship and a Maguire Public Service Fellowship. In 2015, he collaborated with Professor of Art History Janis Bergman-Carton to create and manage a summer program for children at Pike Park Rec Center, now named Santos Rodriguez Center. Pike Park, established in 1913, remains amidst the burgeoning commercial development on the western edge of downtown, in a neighborhood still referred to as “Little Mexico,” a reference to a history of Hispanic and Latinx residents over recent decades.
During the course of the summer program, which aimed to preserve the area’s cultural heritage and reconnect its residents to the area’s past, González worked with 40 children on completing a large collaborative painting. He taught them design principles by overlapping visual elements of Pike Park Rec Center and of Little Mexico, incorporating the children’s mark-making, simplified shapes and use of primary colors while talking to them about gentrification and change. The painting now hangs in the show at Umbrella Gallery.