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New River Walk Mural To Beautify Virginia St. Bridge Construction

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Ten students involved in the Sierra Arts Foundation’s Public Art Works project will be painting a mural on the construction barriers lining the Riverwalk on South Virginia St.

Starting June 23, local artists Pan Pantoja and Ray Valdez will guide students on a colorful mural design that will stand until reconstruction of the Virginia Street Bridge is completed. This will be the first mural unveiled by the Public Art Works project. It is scheduled to be completed by June 24.

“The Sierra Arts Gallery, located inside the historic Riverside Artists Lofts, will be heavily impacted by these barriers for the next year,” said Stacey Spain, executive director of the Sierra Arts Foundation. “Our hope is that the mural will provide a lively distraction with an attractive aesthetic. We have sixteen Artown events in July and are delighted that we will have the mural completed prior to the start of the festival to welcome our audiences into the gallery with this bright new piece.”

The Public Art Works program employs and teaches at-risk youth in art techniques, job skills and graffiti abatement. The mural will provide a river themed, graffiti proof and unified look for the Riverwalk and view shed of the Wild River Grille and Sierra Arts Foundation. The mural design is similar to Pantoja’s mural on the west side of the Keystone bridge on Riverside Drive. Chuck Shapiro, owner of the Wild River Grille, has worked with Sierra Arts Foundation to come up with a positive design that will continue to attract business while construction is underway.

“I’m very excited about the new mural, the Public Art Works project, and the ease of viewing access,” Shapiro said. “It will be a wonderful artistic aesthetic for our patrons while they dine and listen to live, local music all summer. This location is really the center of the local art scene.”

SOURCE: Sierra Arts Foundation.

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