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Bank mural largest in county
Giant Sequoias rise on side of building
Locally renowned artist Steven Ball has been busy the past few weeks. He has been painting the largest mural in the Central Valley on the east outside wall of the Bank of the Sierra headquarters building on Main Street.
Ball, assisted by his wife Donna, is three-fourths completed with the 5,600-square-foot mural of Giant Sequoias that rise majestically from the alley to the top of the three story building.
Bank of the Sierra CEO Jim Holly said the mural was kind of a spur-of-the-moment idea. He explained they had just painted the back of the building and it looked “kind of bland” and they came up with the idea for the mural that spans the entire width and depth of the corporate headquarters.
“I think it will attract people from all over,” said Holly.
The mural is of two Giant Sequoias and is based on actual trees. One is the Wawona Tree that once stood in the Wawona Grove in Yosemite National Park and when at one time people could actually drive their cars through it. That tree fell several years ago. The tunnel in the tree on the wall is where employees can enter the bank office from the alley.
The other is from the Ghost Tree, said Matt Hessler, marketing director for the bank.
Taking a break from his work Wednesday, Ball said the mural is the biggest undertaking he has ever done.
“It’s physically challenging. Just the size of it is challenging,” he said standing on the small lift he is using to move up and down the bank wall. He estimated he will have it completed in one to two weeks. Most of the work he is doing is with a small brush and small roller.
“You’ve got this roller and little paint brush. He backs up, takes a look at it and gets back up and starts again,” marveled Holly on how Ball can vision his work and put it on the side of the building.
Ball is excited about the project.
“It’s the subject matter. The Giant Sequoia trees are popping,” he said, adding they are as close to scale as he can get them.
Holly and Hessler said they had done some research and believe the mural is not only the biggest in the county, but perhaps the largest in the state.
Holly said the paint alone will run in the neighborhood of $10,000. Ball said one coat requires 20 gallons of paint and when finished, there will be four coats, including clear coat to protect it.
The bank is planning a ceremony to commemorate the completion of the mural which does follow the bank’s Sierra theme, but already Holly is impressed.
“It’s really turned into something,” he said.