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Artist speaks at mural meeting
Jessie Marinas is shown with his award winning mural “The Harvest Continues.” - photo by Photo Contributed
Jessie Marinas is the guest speaker for the quarterly Manteca Mural Society meeting taking place Wednesday, Aug. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane.

The public is invited. The senior center is where murals made in a day from the California Mural Symposium contest hosted by the society are on display.

Jessie was born in the Philippines.

He started painting at the age of 10 and showed great talent, but a career in electrical engineering would take him away from his avocation of painting. During those 30 years he would only paint with his heart and soul in his mind.

In more recent years, degenerative spinal problems have changed the course of his life. He has had one spinal surgery after another. The third surgery nearly killed him and left him hospitalized for over two months. Pain and depression plagued him that year. Yet in the fall of that year he agreed to compete in a mural showdown against seven other accomplished muralists from Canada, Oregon, Colorado and California. Even though Jessie had not painted a mural, as the other competitors had, he had done large-scale paintings. He was ready for the challenge.

Jessie’s design was approved and he began to paint. He was very concerned that he would not be able to finish on time. Due to the pain and the multiple fusions in his spine he has limited mobility and had to use a pulley and gear device for his five foot by eight foot mural. He would paint a horizontal swath about one foot high then, using the gear, raise the canvas and paint another horizontal swath. He worked through the nights to meet the deadline.

His perseverance paid off. Jessie produced a beautiful mural, “The Harvest Continues” that garnered him a first place prize. The feeling, the detail, the composition, all these things made his work a hands-down winner. His mural, showing grape harvesting, hangs in the Senior Center.

Since that time Jessie has undergone two more surgeries, yet he continues to paint. He had a one-man art show, was named Asian artist of the Year, was featured artist in a gallery in Ferndale, California, and received honorable mention in the 2008 Delicato Art Show and First and Third prizes in the 2009 Delicato Art Show against over 300 entries. He was kind enough to allow some friends to use his “Harvest Continues” design to make a quilt that has won 2nd place and two Best of Shows in international competitions.

This summer he will have a one-man art show in the Philippines and will paint a mural in the largest mall in Asia.