Commission to discuss library mural proposal
Plans for a new mural on the west side of the Porterville City Library building will come before the Porterville Library and Literacy Commission during a special joint meeting with the Porterville Arts Commission Monday.
City Librarian Vikki Cervantes said a presentation on the proposal will be provided by WildPlaces, a local nonprofit organization out of Springville, with an opportunity for commissioners to ask questions from the group and their project consultant.
Carlos Gomez, program manager with WildPlaces, said the project is much more than just painting a mural.
“It’s an outdoor education program,” he said.
Last year, WildPlaces was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Tulare County Step Up Service Learning Grant Program designed to fund projects that target the involvement of youth who are gang affiliated or at risk of joining a gang.
As part of the WildPlaces grant application, writers proposed to work with students living in Porterville, Springville, Terra Bella, Ducor and surrounding South County communities to get more of them off the streets and into the woods.
“Most of the youth come from Burton Pathways Charter Academy — we are working with them to present the youth with a means for expression,” Gomez said.
Gomez noted that the students have formed a graffiti removal task force of sorts that they have dubbed Artboles, a play on the Spanish word for tree, “arboles.”
“That name comes from the concept we have shared with them that art and the environment are merged together to create something beautiful,” Gomez said.
While the program is presented to local at-risk youth, it is open to any local youth who would like to participate.
The grass-roots organization has partnered with Imagine Community Arts Center in Porterville to provide guidance in the design and color scheme of the mural.
This is the second time a proposal for a mural on the wall facing Hockett Street has come forth.
In September, local artist Fernando Medina approached the Porterville City Council about a mural there. Medina met with city officials and shared his concept and tentative work plan and was directed to present his proposal to the library commission. Cost for the project, which was supposed to be complete over a period of two months, totaled $2,515 plus a 10% contingency. The project never came to fruition because in January, Medina withdrew his proposal due to a lack of commitment from the team of artists that he had assembled, according the commission’s Jan. 10 meeting minutes.
On Monday, commissioners will either accept or deny the proposal as submitted or request modifications. If the proposal is accepted it will likely move onto the City Council’s agenda for official consideration and approval.
The meeting is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Local History Room, located on the second floor of the library, 41 W. Thurman Ave.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.