Community and artists celebrate completion of latest mural project

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Muralists and community members gathered for a small ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 24 to celebrate the completion of the latest Winters History Mural project.

The 2020 Winters History Mural is painted on the east wall of the John Rogers Building along Russell Boulevard. Images depicted in the mural focus on history surrounding the building specifically, as well as important points of Winters history.

Some of the images features include the completion of the Monticello Dam; the 1942 Japanese Internment Camp in Winters, local agricultural history, the world’s oldest paperboy Newt Wallace, a listing of the Winters Express publishers from beginning to present day; and the big move of the Winters library to a new location after 50 years in the John Rogers building. Muralists also included current moments of history including present day protests.

Winters muralists Jaime Montiel and Celestino Galabasa Jr. helped to guide and mentor the muralists alongside Winters High School art teacher Kate Humphrey. At the ceremony Montiel and Galabasa also shared insight on the project and handed out certificates to the muralists.

The 19 muralists each signed the completed mural and shared their favorite part of the experience with the mural. They include Brinly Bronson, Victoria Cardenas, Amelia Doran, Edith Estrada, Lola Garibay, Sofia Isabela Garibay, Hayden Green, Isadora Harris, Marily Huerta, Leia Jara, Lizbeth Lopez, Josie Lundy, Eden Miller, Ben Nelson, April Quezada, Sabrina Rivas, Yarethzy Sanchez, Griffin Simmons and Dennise Valdez.

Valerie Whitworth, a Winters Participation Gallery board member, awarded the first ever Tim Duncan honorarium to Quezada. Duncan, who died earlier this year, was an active part of the Participation Gallery board and within the art community. Whitworth said going forward, they plan to award the Tim Duncan Honorarium to one student muralist for each history mural project.

Quezada was unanimously selected by the Participation board and participating teachers to receive the honor. She was awarded $100 to help further her journey as an artist.

Liz Coman, the Winters school district College and Career Coordinator, also gave thanks to the community for their generous donations to the Participation Gallery’s GoFunMe campaign held earlier this year. Coman said they were able to finish the mural thanks to the donations.

Whitworth said they also received $1,725 in donations outside the GoFundMe website, which combined with the money from the GoFundMe allowed them to complete the mural.

“The gap is being closed with memorial donations in honor of Tim Duncan who died in August. Tim had been a Member of our Board for years and will be sorely missed,” Whitworth said. “We want to thank the town who donated large and small and contributed to the success of the mural.”

The Participation Gallery will be deciding on the next Winters History Mural Project in the next six months. Whitworth said they currently have four potential candidates and will be working to explore them during that time.

Local businesses who are interested in being considered for an upcoming mural project are encouraged to contact the Participation Gallery at wintersparticipationgallery@gmail.com or to mail a note to: WPG, PO Box 1140, Winters,CA 95694.

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