Murals come and murals go.
This temporary construction mural in front of daliel’s bookstore at 2466 Telegraph (at Haste) in 1946 shows us what a temporary construction mural should look like. It was painted by Bezalel Schatz in 1946 Schtaz was an Israeli artist, son of Boris Schatz, who was the founder of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts.
This mural, as well as daliel’s, is long gone. As well as the Shell station on the corner. As well as the Sequoia Building in the background. Gone! In the last months we have also lost murals at the Roxie Food Center on Dwight and Shakespeare’s Books at Telegraph and Dwight.
Murals come and murals go.
The PG&E substation on the west side of Telegraph south of Dwight is now home to a mural celebrating the art of Chiura Obata. The mural is roughly across the street from Obata’s studio and art supply store at 2525 Telegraph. The mural is in the style of Obata’s watercolors of Yosemite. It was a collaboration between the Telegraph Business Improvement District and PGE.
A few blocks south on Telegraph there is a new mural on part of the Stuart Street wall of Willard School. Until recently, a mural designed and painted by Maaquias Montoya in 1987 with help from California College and Arts and Crafts students depicted heroic, multicultural figures in struggle and a dysptoian vision including American, Soviet, and British robot dogs.
The east end of the mural is now a far cry from Montoya’s dystopian vision. A new mural has been in the works since 2009, and it finally came this summer. Berkeley mosaic artist Rachel Rodi led a group of volunteers who installed a new tile mosaic mural. Five trees represent eighth-grade classes and bear the handprints of students.
The western end of Montoya’s mural stands. It is kinder and gentler than the now-gone dogs of war.
Still on Telegraph:
Mural meets graffiti here on the northeast corner of Telegraph and Haste. This is a wall in constant flux.
Speaking of schools – and I was speaking a minute ago of Willard School – there is relatively new wall art at Oxford School.
This art supplements the large three-dimensional mural in the lower playground, visible from Walnut Street.
This mural was completed in 2001 and was dedicated to Nandi Phelps, a fourth-grader who died of meningitis.
Sad and beautiful.
A few more from around town.
The dude playing a horn is on the south wall of Dave’s Record Shop, 2634 San Pablo.
Banshee Arts at 1214 San Pablo is mostly tattoos but also art and spirituality. And a kick-ass mural.
See the raven? The Morrigan was the shape-shifting Celtic Goddess of War, Fate and Death. She was said to hover over battlefields in the form of a raven or hooded crow and frequently foretold or influenced the outcome of the fray.
Morpheus Ravenna is the tattoo artist who is Banshee. She specializes in tattoo designs inspired by ancient art and civilizations, ritual and magical tattoos, mythological sources, and Celtic, Norse, Hellenic, and other historical traditions.
Lastly for this installment – this mural runs along the alley between 5th and 6th streets north from Page Street. It is painted on the wall of Doug Heine’s Gate 13. He gave permission to paint the mural, which is all about heroes. It was painted by middle schoolers working under the direction of a gifted and inspiring teacher.
The figure on the left is Dolores Huerta, painted from a photograph taken by George Ballis in 1965 in the initial grape strike in Delano.
The woman on the left is Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who continued surfing after recovering from a shark attack that took her left arm.
The astute viewer saw the XOXOX sculpture by Doug Heine. It is a reminder that the world needs more hugs and more kisses.
I showed the photos of the new (and one old) murals to my friend and asked for his take. “Dig the alley. I know that alley. I love it. Vallejo is all about alleys.” I too love alleys. When I first went to Delano to work for the UFW in 1968, I was struck by the alley, in Spanish callejon, behind the apartment where I lived until I moved in with Doug Adair and Dolores Huerta’s three sons later in the summer. It was full of life.
And yes, I have been told about the alleys of Vallejo by someone who knows. But there my friend goes again with Vallejo. Where is that headed? I don’t know.
But what about the post?