On the evening of Thursday, Sept. 12, Young artists and their families gathered in the parking lot beside Tienda Delicious for a signing ceremony at the latest installation of the Winters Historical Mural Project. The Laundryworks mural has been complete for several weeks now, but after the ceremony the project’s coordinators and artists had some time to talk about the mural and the work they put in this summer.
The project was a two-part mural that wraps around the Laundryworks building, located on First Street behind First Northern Bank. The wall facing Main street depicts a woman hanging sheets up to dry underneath the words “Winters Laundryworks.” Large soap bubbles come up around her, each with an example of historic laundry technology.
This bubble theme continues on the western facing wall, where bubbles containing symbols of some of the many cultures that have settled in Winters float over a green field and a figure washing clothing in Putah Creek.
After the artists signed their work and posed for pictures, the group moved into the Winters History Museum. There, muralist Jaime Montiel gave a brief speech that gave context to some of the symbols the students chose.
There is a coyote to represent Native Americans, a Chinese dragon, a koifish for the Japanese, an Iberian bull representing the region’s Spanish and a Mexican eagle.
Montiel said that they know that there are more cultural and ethnic groups in town, and joked that there are plenty of walls for future projects representing them.
Kate Humphrey worked with the students on the design process. The group spent time in the Yolo County Archives where they studied Winters history for inspiration. The process led the young artists into conversations about history and culture.
“You would be amazed at the deep conversations students have when they are engaged,” Humphrey said.
Celestino Galabasa Jr. helped with the painting process this year, and says that he was very glad to be a part of it.
“We got it done in three weeks, I couldn’t believe it!” he said, beaming.
Herb Mcabe, owner of the Laundyworks business, thanked the group for their work.
The student artists also had a chance to speak at the event. Some, like eighth graders Fernando Herrera and Ben Nelson, said that they were happy to have something to do all summer. Others, like Sabrina and Hayden, said that they had a lot of fun working with the group. Te’a Novello told the audience she enjoyed being a part of something that represented different groups in Winters.
Valerie Whitworth of the Winters Participation Gallery, which hosts the Winters Historical Mural Project, handed out completion certificates to each artist.
Liz Coman, who is a board member for the Winters Participation Gallery, took a moment to thank all of the families who supported their children through the project through their time and involvement. She then reminded everyone that they can donate to next summer’s mural project at wintersparticipationgallery.org.]]>