In mid-April, installation will begin on a brand new mural in the heart of downtown for all Woodlanders and visitors to enjoy for years to come. The mural will be painted on the tall brick wall that faces east on Main Street, adjacent to the Woodland Opera House and backing up against the historic Diggs building. A Woodland consortium of over 20 public and private donors underwrote the cost of this public arts project, which will honor and celebrate Woodland’s rich cultural history.
In 2022, the Woodland Tree Foundation contacted the City of Woodland about collaborating on a mural project. The 40 feet wide and 30 feet tall wall that will serve as the new mural’s canvas holds its own rich architectural history. The wall was part of the Farmers and Merchants Bank, constructed in 1894 and demolished in 1970. For an unknown reason, the plaster-covered west interior wall of the Bank building was untouched during the building’s demolition and remained standing for the past 53 years. As this brick wall was previously an interior surface, it was ill equipped to withstand the elements, which led to brick and plaster degradation over the years.
In an effort to ensure longevity of both the wall and the mural, Paramount Construction & Masonry completed wall restoration work in mid-2022. The contractor smoothed out the wall by removing chipping plaster and old wood that likely made up wooden beams within the Bank building’s structure, replaced soft and degrading bricks with new ones, and re-grouted where necessary. A protective vapor permeable top coat finalized the restoration.
In the next phase of the project, local contractor MG Painting will donate their services to paint a neutral base coat and primer (donated by Sherwin Williams) in preparation for the mural. Shortly after, local artists Frankie Gamez and Shaun Burner will commence the approximately four week mural project. The mural will include vibrant colors and highlight elements of Woodland’s cultural and natural history. The relationship between the valley oak tree and the Patwin Indigenous Peoples will be a central theme. The mural will also include images related to the performing arts, Latinx culture, architecture, wildlife, and more. Once the mural is completed, Woodland Tree Foundation members will plant pollinator-friendly and water wise plants in the brick planter at the base of the wall. Motorists and pedestrians will be able to enjoy both the mural and landscaping from Main Street and Heritage Plaza.
David Wilkinson, a local author, historian, and president of the Woodland Tree Foundation, helped spearhead this project with the support of the City of Woodland, R&R Pacific Construction (Diggs Building owner), the Woodland Tree Foundation, and several key individuals and organizations. A commemorative plaque will be installed in the near future to recognize the above-mentioned project leads and sponsors as well as the following donors: The Stroll Through History, Visit Yolo, MG Painting, Sherwin Williams, Marjorie Holmes Brown, Rose & Billy Woods, Beth & Ron Caceres, Rolf & Chantal Frankenbach, Diane Adams, Letha & Tai Sines, Emily Wilkinson & Ash Ganguly, Jim & Valerie Hilliard, Ken & Kathy Trott, Chris Gray, and Nanci Bristowe.
Further questions may be directed to David Wilkinson of the Woodland Tree Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephanie Burgos of the City of Woodland at email@example.com