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Muralists on board for Library Park
Five murals will grace park expansion
Tom and Gayl Wilson of the Manteca Mural Society, are shown with the designs of all four murals that will grace the newly expanded Library Parks wall facing the old Poplar Street. The fifth and largest mural will be on the wall facing the Tidewater Bikepath. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

The Manteca Mural Society and the City of Manteca Parks and Recreation Department have announced the remaining two of the four artists whose paintings will be featured on the L-shaped eight-foot walls in the newly expanded Library Park downtown.

Tom and Gayl Wilson of the Mural Society said the two are Colleen Mitchell-Veyna of Visalia, and Brian Romagnoli of Ontario, Canada. They were picked Thursday by a committee that included Mayor Willie Weatherford and other city officials and citizens.

Artists Jessie Marinas and Terri Pasquini have been selected earlier to render two of the four murals. In all, there will be five murals at the recently dedicated new and improved Library Park.

The longest of the five wall paintings will feature the work of nationally renowned muralist Dave S. Gordon whose other works are depicted in several of Manteca’s collection of murals to date. His rendering of Manteca’s baseball history will be seen on the 105-foot long panel facing the Tidewater Bikepath and Yosemite Avenue. His sports-themed mural is a salute to the town’s ball park that was once located at the Library Park. Gordon was also the artist who painted the first mural in Manteca located on the east wall of the building on the southwest corner of Yosemite Avenue and North Main downtown.

Each of the remaining four walls – measuring 32 feet by eight feet – has been assigned a theme that is relevant to the community of Manteca. Each painting also will depict each season of the year.

The spring wall will focus on the Native American roots of Manteca and surroundings. Pasquini has been selected to paint the mural that goes into this wall.

Manteca’s early pioneers will show a summer-scenes rendering by Manteca artist Jessie Marinas.

Manteca’s agriculture in the fall will highlight the farming wealth of the community in the painting to be done by Mitchell-Veyna.

The winter wall’s centerpiece will be the rich industry that fueled the booming economic times in Manteca with Romagnoli as the artist selected to execute this mural painting.

Sixteen-foot spaces will separate each of the four murals, the Wilsons said.

In the final selection for the last two artists, the selection panel chose from a total of nine artists who entered their submissions. Part of the selection committee was Gordon. His role as a panelist stems from “his experience as a muralist,” Tom Wilson explained.

“He helped guide us through the process to make sure we recognized the strength and expertise of the artists,” he said.

In selecting the four artists, Tom Wilson said the panel took into consideration “how well the artist had interpreted the four themes we gave them, and how well the work would sit in the park” as well as in the community.

While the submissions of Marinas and Pasquini have passed through final approval by the Arts Criteria Committee, those submitted by Romagnoli and Mitchell-Veyna have yet to go through suggestions and modifications by the panel.

The above five murals will bring to six the total number of murals in the Library Park. The sixth one is the “Manteca Snow” mural adorning the back wall of a building on Manteca Avenue across from the Library Park.

Tom Wilson said the Mural Society will not have a community-wide Mural-in-a-Weekend project during this year’s Pumpkin Fair given the extensive manpower involvement in the Library Park expansion project. He said he hopes to have that community undertaking in conjunction with the Street Fair in the spring.