How community captured California in Turlock park’s pool mural design

Mural transforms wall at Turlock park

The city of Turlock, Stanislaus State and community volunteers teamed up to capture California in a mural at the Columbia Park pool.
Up Next
The city of Turlock, Stanislaus State and community volunteers teamed up to capture California in a mural at the Columbia Park pool.

The community pool at Columbia Park now has a community mural to go with it.

The bright painting along a dozen or so segments of cinder-block wall was designed by California State University, Stanislaus, art department faculty and students, with great input from the community.

“We really wanted the community to be involved,” said Kolaya Wilson, who graduated in the spring. “So we did workshops out here in the park and we did a few at some elementary schools, and we asked the kids what they would want to see on this wall. So this is actually a huge compilation of different ideas that the kids gave us.”

The theme of one stretch of wall is the California landscape. It includes monarch butterflies, a brown bear, a hummingbird, golden poppies, cactus and more. The other part of the mural, Wilson said, represents California water and ties into the colors and designs of the aquatic playground at the pool.

Public participation went beyond contributing ideas for the mural design, which dates back to January. This weekend, adults and children turned out at Columbia Park to get the bulk of the painting done. Saturday, a lot of smaller kids painted big areas of color, said Mayra Cortez, another designer who graduated in spring. Sunday, grown-up volunteers did more of the detail work.

“Now it’s about going in and refining the details. ... Some areas are still exposed, and we have that throughout the mural as well,” Cortez said. “So in the next week, the main artists ...will be going in to clean up some lines, adjust the colors a little bit and finish it up so it can really pop.”

Photographs of the weekend’s work have been posted on the Instagram page of the Art Club of Stan State.

The mural is being done in an external latex paint. An acrylic coating will be applied to protect it from weather and graffiti, according to the city.

Everything will be done before Oct. 17, when the city of Turlock will host the unveiling of the mural at 2 p.m. “And then we’ll have different field trips for the schools in the area so they can come and learn about the mural,” Cortez said.

There also will be trips for children who participated through the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department and Westside Ministries to see how their ideas were used, she said.

The city estimated the cost of the mural project at $6,000. It’s being funded through Mayor Gary Soiseth’s Award for Public Policy Research Scholarship, through Stanislaus State.

To maintain the mural the City Council last week approved $2,500 from a tourism fund designated for public art projects. The estimated life of the mural is between five and 10 years.