By late summer of 2008, the old mural was beginning to look pretty sad. The formerly small patches of peeling paint were now graduating into rather large patches, and it was getting harder to overlook the fact that the whole appearance of the mural was decidedly dowdy. The Shasta Lake Garden Project took note, and put it on the agenda for discussion in September.
By April, 2009, we had contacted a muralist – Gary Fitzgerald – who said he would be glad to help us not just “patch” the mural, but actually REPLACE it! We greeted this news enthusiastically. Many of us were not entirely happy with the old mural, and the prospect of starting over was very appealing. We left it in Gary’s hands.
This was truly a community effort. Part of the deal was we (the Shasta Lake Garden Project) would be responsible for preparation of the wall surface. We contacted Central Valley High School and enlisted a few of the football players to scrape the wall. Then, we called on the City’s Public Works crew to pressure wash the surface. And just in time. A couple of days later, Gary Fitzgerald and his crew of two showed up to begin their work in earnest.
It didn’t take them long. The preliminary sketch began on April 14 and the mural was completed on April 15. I stopped by to thank them as they were leaving, and to compliment them on the fine new vista on our wall. It forms a beautiful backdrop for the plants that are now thriving on the berm in front of the mural.
Everyone seems to be happy with the outcome: Ron Rife, building owner, likes it. The City Council likes it. The local business owners like it, and needless to say, the Shasta Lake Garden Project really likes it.
To give credit where credit is due, the City of Shasta Lake contributed to the cost of the mural work by making its mural grant money available to the Garden Project, thereby carrying 50% of the cost, which the Shasta Lake Garden Project greatly appreciates. The finished mural is a fine testimony to the coordinated efforts of many separate groups who come together to produce something we can all take pride in.