Wednesday, May 23, 2007

City Wants Mural To Paint Positive Image

City Wants Mural To Paint Positive Image
By Ines Bebea

FAIRFIELD - Downtown Fairfield is on its way to becoming a show place for local artists.

On Thursday, the Fairfield Mural Project will select an artist from between two finalists to paint a mural on the southeast corner of Webster and Texas streets. The first mural, commissioned in 2005, can be seen on the southeast corner of Texas and Jackson streets, home to the comedy club Pepperbellys.

The city hopes the mural project will send a positive message to residents and visitors alike.

'The purpose of this project is to revitalize our historic downtown and to bring cultural tourism to the city,' Cynthia Garcia, management analyst with the citys Economic Development Division and coordinator of the Fairfield Mural project. 'We want the mural to build pride in the community, preserve our historic roots, create a strong sense of community, and provide opportunities for local artist to present their work in a large format.'

The Rotary Club of Fairfield, the Fairfield Downtown Business Association, the Fairfield Visual Arts Association and the City of Fairfield are working together on the project. Their plan is to place as many murals as possible in the downtown area.

According to Garcia, the two artists, Cathy McClelland and Laura Napier, were asked to submit drawings depicting fauna and flora native to the area.

Napier is a teacher in Vacaville, while McClelland grew up in Fairfield but now lives near Lake Tahoe.

The work is scheduled to be displayed for 10 years. It will be paid for with a $10,000 donation from Citation Northern, a company that is now building the Aria community in Fairfield. The mural project is expected to be completed by September.

'We hope to be able to commission one mural per year until we run out of space,' Garcia said. 'It is a matter of having funding available, getting a business owner to commit his building for the 10 years and choosing the artist.'

Arlene Reynolds, who has owned the building scheduled for the second mural since1977, is an enthusiastic supporter of the mural project.

'They seem to think that its a great location, and I think the mural will help beautify downtown and bring more locals and tourists to eat and shop here,' she said. 'I was born and raised in the Fairfield-Suisun City area, and it is encouraging to participate in a project that will allow the people to continue enjoying their city and its history.'

Although the Thai restaurant at that spot has closed, a Mexican restaurant is expected to replace it in the near future.

'Our downtown has gone through hot and cold phases,' said Reynolds. 'We bought this building with the intention of leasing it, and it has been a great comfort to own a piece of the history of my hometown.'

Reach Ines Bebea at 427-6934 or

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