The Family City is well on its way to becoming “The Mural City.”
And retiring Manteca Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joan Beattie thinks that would be a good moniker for the city.
“Manteca should be known as the mural city,” Beattie said during the dedication Wednesday of the 12-mural project Security Public Service Storage to mark its 40th year in business.
The murals are at their north Manteca location at Lathrop Road and Crestwood Avenue.
Her words were echoed moments later by Manteca Mayor Gary Singh as he presented a proclamation expressing the city’s gratitude for the mural endeavor.
“We’d like to turn Manteca into the mural city,” Singh told the gathering of nearly 50 people.
Singh praised the murals — as well as those elsewhere in the city — for celebrating the diversity of Manteca” as well as its offerings and nearby attractions.
The fact the murals celebrate other San Joaquin offerings such as the Haggin Museum in Stockton also was something that Paul Anderson, marketing manager of Security Public Storage, liked.
“I love we gave a shout out to a lot of things in San Joaquin County,” Anderson told the gathering.
Anderson noted he visited Haggin Museum as a student.
The community mural — actually a series of 12 murals — is 330 feet long and covers nearly 3,300 square feet.
It is the 14th mural project by Security Public Storage.
The storage firm’s website notes that the murals, designed by Jerry Ragg, “inspired an outpouring of community support while painting the mural along Lathrop Road. Hundreds of admirers stopped by, honked, waved, high-fived and shared their delight with the artist.”
Tom Wilson, the founding president of the Manteca Mural Society, said the private sector stepping up to add to murals the non-profit has done to instill community pride is exactly what the society was hoping for when it was founded 22 years ago.
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the completion of the society’s first of 25 downtown murals — “Crossroads 1918” — on the eastern wall of Century Furniture at Main Street and Yosemite Avenue.
Beattie, who is retiring after the end of this month following nearly 10 years leading the chamber, said her favorite mural was the one depicting the riparian oaks at Caswell State Park.
That was a ditto for her replacement, Taylor Hasal.
Singh’s favorite is the panel depicting Joshua Cowell given he was the founder of Manteca.
As for Breitenbucher, his favorite celebrates Manteca the gateway to Yosemite.
“That is what we are known for,” he noted.
The 527-unit storage unit built in the 1970s faces Lathrop Road while the murals cover most of the exterior wall along Crestwood Avenue across from the ARCO station where Manteca’s seventh Starbucks recently open.
Among the other mural subjects are the bounty of the fields around Manteca, Knights Ferry, the Gold Country, and the railroad among other things.
There are now 38 outdoor murals in Manteca that are dedicated to showcasing Manteca, its history, its economy, its culture, and nearby attractions.
Those are in addition to more than 200 student murals that grace hallways and outdoor areas at Manteca High.
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