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Next mural spotlights family, culture
Tom Wilson, right, was among those working on the last community mural project dubbed “Manteca Snow” across from Library Park. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Manteca’s next mural will celebrate family and the community’s cultural diversity.

It is being designed by muralist Art Mortimer who was responsible for “Our Bountiful Valley” in the 100 block of Sycamore Avenue.

The new mural will go on the north facing wall of the recently remodeled State Farm Insurance Agency owned by Crystal Downs at 259 N. Main St. It will be the first mural outside of the six block core area of downtown Manteca.

Volunteers will do much of the work as part of the next community mural project taking place the first weekend in October during the Manteca Pumpkin Fair.

Leon and Liz Sucht are hosting a meet and greet potluck to allow Manteca Mural Society members to mingle with Mortimer on Wednesday at 7 p.m. To RSVP and get directions call Gayl Wilson at 483-8187 or Liz Sucht at 239-0288.

Last week, the society under the guidance of muralist Dave Gordon coated five existing murals similar to the process used last year on the original mural dubbed “Crossroads.” The murals coated were “Cruising Manteca”, “Our Bountiful Valley”, “Manteca Snow”, “Sierra’s Crown’s and “Service above Self.” Society members were assisted by Boys & Girls Club volunteers to clean the murals. Then an “isolation coat” and three coats of a specialized varnish were applied.

The society will coat the remaining murals in the coming months.

“This is an expensive process, but the (mural society) board of directors felt the technology has improved over the years,” Tom Wilson said. “And in light of the extensive damage four of our murals endured last December, this is an investment that can’t be put off.”

The Manteca Mural Society was inspired during Tom and Gayl Wilson’s vacation nearly a decade ago on Vancouver Island in British Columbia when they discovered the drawing power of murals.

It was in a town where the lumber industry had been the major economic engine before its decline. One store owner commissioned a mural depicting the dying industry. Another store owner followed suit. Eventually there were more than a dozen.

The murals ended up becoming a big drawing card for the town and the merchants revamped their business to cater to the tourist trade.

Ultimately, the mural society wants to do the same thing for downtown Manteca by making it a major draw for visitors. The murals are also being pursued to promote community pride as well as to showcase Manteca’s culture, agriculture, and economy.