The next few weeks will see a transformation happening at Columbia Park, as community members and Stanislaus State students come together to create a new mural to adorn the external walls of the Columbia Park Pool.
The Turlock City Council voted unanimously to move ahead with the public art project and to allocate $2,500 from the city’s tourism account to pay for future maintenance of the completed project.
Stanislaus State Art Professor Jacob Weigel is spearheading the project with the students as part of the Mayor’s Public Policy Award. For a few years Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth has been donating his mayoral salary to fund a public policy award in an effort to get Stanislaus State students actively involved in local issues. Weigel, along with his students, have been working with the public to generate ideas for the mural, particularly with the residents and children living around the park.
The final design features lots of images from nature, like birds, butterflies and flowers, all done in vibrant color scheme at the behest of some of Turlock’s younger residents. The design was created through the collaboration of the university students and the community, particularly those living in the park neighborhood.
“We didn’t just want to come in and project what we think should go in to Columbia Park, but to listen and to put forth a mural … that fits with Columbia Park,” said Soiseth.
He said he hopes this collaboration will be the spark that inspires other public art projects around town.
Weigel and CSUS Art Professor Susan Stephenson will be the advisors of the mural project and students Mayra Cortez, Kolaya Wilson, Hayley Simon and Jasmine Diaz will be the artists.
The student artists will outline the design of the mural on the wall and have volunteers help paint the larger sections over the course of two community paint days. Once the larger sections are completed the artists will finish the smaller details of the mural to give it a professional finish.
The mural will be painted with an outdoor latex paint and have an acrylic coating to protect it from weather and graffiti. The estimated life of the mural is between five to 10 years.
The artists are hoping to have the mural completed and unveiled on Oct. 17.