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Artists, supporters help mount four murals
Muralist Colleen Mitchell-Veyna, left, shares a smile with a volunteer as her mural Agriculture is cut into sections so it can be set on the wall Friday. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Jessie Marinas painted every day on an easel the same way he had on any other project he ever tackled.

But this wasn’t any ordinary easel. And it definitely wasn’t any ordinary project.

With a rolling mechanism that allowed him to focus on individual sections of a much larger piece of work, Marinas – who had to brave through both knee and spinal problems – spent seven months preparing a 32-foot long and seven-and-a-half foot tall canvas.

And by the time the weekend wraps up his work will be on display at Library Park for all to see – as a homage to the early pioneers of Manteca and the work they did to lay the framework for the city we enjoy today.

“It was something that wasn’t easy for me to finish,” Marinas said. “I’d never done anything this big before, and it took a long time to do all of the individual parts.

“But my love for Manteca is reflected in all of my work. This isn’t something about money for me – it’s about my love for Manteca.”

Marinas’ mural – one of four that will grace the western wall of the new Library Park expansion – was rolled out on display Friday morning as volunteers prepped the surface for placement.

Standing back and watching as a team of local art enthusiasts affixed her vibrant, colorful mural to the wall, Visalia resident Colleen Mitchell-Veyna – who completed another mural honoring South San Joaquin agriculture– was impressed with actually seeing the lengths to which the Manteca Mural Society has gone to aesthetically improve the community.

“I had heard about the art for some time, and this is my first trip up here,” Mitchell-Veyna said. “It’s nice to see that in a community.”

It wasn’t, however, just your basic team of volunteers charged with the permanent affixing of the durable mural material to the cinderblock wall.

Muralist Dave Gordon – who painted the “Crossroads” mural of the wall of Century Furniture at the corner of Yosemite Avenue and Main Street – made the jump into a supporting role to help oversee the proper placement of each of the carefully cut panels.

Seeing not only the amazing murals on display but also the number of volunteers that came out gave Gordon, as an artist, a sense of pride that a community like Manteca would dedicate so much time and effort towards preserving their heritage in paint.

“This is something here that shows different styles and different flavors of work all next to each other,” Gordon said. “It’ll show the seasons throughout the year as well. And it’s great to see the artists out here and all of the volunteers working to make this work today.”