The Davis Art Center is providing several creative ways for community members to experience art this summer.
For the second year in a row, the Art Center is organizing two community-participation murals. One, “Off the Grid,” is at the Art Center itself, 1919 F St., and the other, “Bike Fun,” will be painted on the side of Wheelworks at Third and F streets downtown.
Rachel Hartsough, who organized “Off the Grid,” invites local residents to stop by the Art Center and pick up a grid kit, then return it by July 10.
But what’s in the grid kit? The mural itself is based on a “mystery image” selected by Art Center staff that relates to the summer’s theme, “Momentum.”
The grid kit contains a blank piece of paper and a small portion of the mystery image. The participants are asked to reproduce that image in whatever medium they choose, sticking as closely as possible to the color and shapes presented in the provided picture.
“Last year (with the image of a bee), we had people use vegetables, yarn and Saran wrap,” said Erie Vitiello, executive director at the Art Center. “It was gorgeous when it was put together.”
The “Bike Fun” mural will grace the side of the downtown bike shop, covering a 14-by-17-foot-tall area with two curved panels.
“Third Street was the first (downtown) to have a bike lane,” said Danielle Fodor, who is organizing the project. “It’s a great historical place to have the mural.”
A community planning workshop took place June 15, at which Fodor presented more than 100 pieces of artwork sent in as suggestions for the project. Participants voted on the art that they thought should be included in the mural.
“We got down from 100 pieces to eight,” Fodor explained. “We … put them into one design and final drawing and sent it to the building owners.”
Community member Kavita Karighattam, who brought her two children to the planning workshop, said, “We thought it would be a good thing to participate in, where you are part of the designing process. Putting our heads together and creating a design was great.”
Painting of the “Bike Fun” mural will begin Friday, July 12 — to coincide with the Second Friday ArtAbout — and should be done by Aug. 17. There are plans to hold a celebratory street party with live music, bike crafts and an art showcase.
Both murals are funded by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, a three-year gift designed to support family programs, which runs out this October. Fundraising to continue these projects likely will begin soon.