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Manteca businessman sold on mural project
Sami Guedoir of Century Furniture stands next to the mural that Dave Gordon painted on the side of his Century Furniture business as part of the first Manteca Mural Society project. Guedoir donated $1,000 of his own money to the project. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL/ The Bulletin
It’s been 15 years since Sami Guedoir took over Century Furniture at the Corner of Main Street and Yosemite Avenue.

And it took him almost no time to fall in love with his adopted home – the proof is right off the side of the building that has contained his family’s livelihood for nearly two decades.

With the large wall spanning the side of his business serving as the ultimate canvas, the Manteca Mural Society approached Guedoir as the first business they wanted to target for the Manteca Mural Society’s first undertaking – pinning artist David S. Gordon to map out a scene from Manteca’s earliest days on the white concrete that would start an art project that has grown to include projects throughout downtown.

There’s a mural of people cruising on Main Street during Manteca’s heyday. There’s a mural of people pitching pumpkins. There’s a mural depicting paying tribute to Manteca’s early dairy industry. There’s the mural depicting Manteca as the gateway to the Yosemite Valley. And there’s the mural that shows the treasures of San Francisco just 80 miles to the West.

But they all started right there at Century Furniture.

“Manteca has been such a great community, and I immediately liked the idea of the ‘Crossroads’ mural that David (Gordon) was commissioned to paint,” Guedoir said. “Art is one of the things that transcends communities and barriers, and this is a project that I believed in.”

The Manteca Mural connection is also something that has spanned the globe.

After getting to know Gordon during the weeks that he painted along the side of his business, Guedoir commissioned the artist himself to paint a mural in his hometown of Tunisia – flying him back to the North African country where he was born in to create a mural for his hometown’s 16th annual Festival of the Arts.

“When I would look at the ‘Crossroads’ mural, I saw the impact of what a single vision can do for a community,” Guedoir said. “The people of Manteca have been so good to me and my family, and I wanted to take that spirit with me back to my hometown and celebrate the spirit of art and how far it can go.”