Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Public Art in Yolo County

I had noticed a new mural on Main Street the other day. I mean, it's been there for 6 months or so, but I really looked at it the other day. It made me remember other murals I've seen in town. I wondered how many other there are in town and who are the artists that painted them. Let's take a little tour of my little town, Woodland. You might be surprised, like me.

16 Main Street, artist Maceo Montoya. The mural emphasizes the importance of good nutrition, physical activity, and promotion of healthy lifestyle choices.

Once I found out about the Montoya artists, Malaquias (father) and Maceo (son), I felt kinda stupid. Why didn't I know about these well-known artists living in my town? I'm sure everyone else did. Even worse, I have seen the murals around town and I didn't even bother to see who the artists were...until now. Sorry guys!

Beamer Park Elementary, 525 Beamer Street, artist Malaquias Montoya. The mural is inspired by one of the elementary school's favorite folk songs, "De Colores," which celebrates color in spring, birds and rainbows. - UC Davis News

Here's a little background:
Among the most prominent living Chicano artists, Malaquias Montoya's work is in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and more than a dozen other museums, libraries and universities. He is a renowned artist, activist, and professor  of Chicana/Chicano studies and art and art history at UC Davis and his students help him paint the murals during their class.

Freeman Elementary School, artist Malaquias Montoya.

His son, Maceo Montoya, grew up in the small town of Elmira, California. He comes from a family of artists and is an educator and author, as well. He graduated from Yale University in 2002 and received his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Columbia University in 2006. He has completed numerous public art commissions, including a mural at Yale University’s La Casa Cultural Center. He has also worked on murals with the Eastside Arts Alliance in Oakland and Taller Arte Del Nuevo Amenecer (TANA) in Woodland, where he has worked as an instructor. He presently lives in Woodland where he paints and writes.

6 West Court Street, artist Maceo Montoya. As a director of the project, Mr. Montoya has been working with students ranging from middle school to high school to develop a design for a community mural project.

These are only a few from the Montoyas, I'll post more murals from them soon.

We have more public art murals in town by other artists. We had two historic murals hung outside the historic Woodland Opera house. They were canvases instead of being painted directly on the wall. Unfortunately, they didn't stand up to the wild storms we get sometimes.

Mural on historic Woodland Opera House, Woodland, CA. Building pictured was the terminal for the Sacramento Northern interurban electric railroad.

These are the two canvas murals before they were blown/taken down. I can't find who painted them.

I found this Elephant mural as I was driving home. It used to be the Crocodeli, but now it's The Elephant Hut. I tried to find out about the artist, NorCal Custom Murals, but I couldn't even find a website.

The Elephant Hut Deli, Kentucky Rd. Painted by NorCal Custom Murals.

If you want to see these murals, and more, come see "The Art of Public Art” – showcasing the art and artists of public art installations around the county. Gallery 625, 625 Court St, Woodland, 530-406-4844, info@yoloarts.org. Reception: Friday, April 2, 5:30 pm.

Also, when you are out and about in your town, snaps some pictures of YOUR city's public murals and post them on http://murallocator.org.


Joy said...

Great idea Val! It's amazing all the murals you have there. I need to look around as well. Maybe not in Fremont, because I don't think there are any here (not a lot of culture here, heh), but SJ maybe. Great post!

Valerie Krist said...

You'd be surprised about Fremont, Joy. There are probably murals there that you never really noticed before!