Published May 29, 2017 on the Gilroy Life website

To participate in the “Celebrate the Arts!” reach-out list survey for people interested in being Patrons of the Arts donors, click HERE 

By Staff Report

The blank wall at Gilroy Center for the Arts Plaza that the Leadership Gilroy class of 2017 is now raising funds to commission a youth-in-arts mural on.
Photo courtesy Leadership Gilroy Class of 2017.

Members of the 2017 Leadership Gilroy class are now seeking 10 local patrons of the arts to help them inspire all young people in the community to appreciate the arts and engage in artistic endeavors. The class chose the title “Celebrate the Arts!” for its community service project, which is a large mural with a youth-in-the-arts theme.

The class commissioned professional muralist Sheryl Cathers to paint the mural on the outdoor plaza wall of the Gilroy Center of the Arts. The founder of the Dabble Art Center in downtown Gilroy, Cathers created another youth-focused mural at the Gilroy Public Library.

The class also plans to work with schools and nonprofit organizations such as the Mt. Madonna YMCA’s summer program to encourage young people to be involved in the project, including painting a portion of the mural and learning about the process of creating works of art.

The mural project still needs to be approved by the Gilroy Arts and Cultural Commission, the Gilroy Public Mural Committee and the Gilroy City Council. The class hopes to have the approval vote for the project placed on the agenda for the June 19 Gilroy City Council meeting.

The mural will highlight images of children portrayed as actively working on 10 categories of artistic endeavors: Theater Arts, Literary Arts, Dance Arts, Cinematic Arts, Painting/Drawing, Sculpture, Comedy, Music, Culinary Arts and Photographic Arts.

“The mural will show children of elementary school age representing various demographics happily involved in activities in various styles of the visual and performing arts,” the 2017 Leadership Gilroy class said in a press release. The mural will surround a large rectangular blank area bordered by red velvet curtains painted around it. This blank space will be used by the Gilroy Arts Alliance to show free films in its Movies on the Green summer events.”

The class needs to raise $10,000 for the labor and materials for the mural. The Leadership Gilroy class has launched a special “Patrons of the Arts” fundraising campaign to team up with donors providing $1,000 each. Either an area of the mural or a special bronze plaque on the outside wall of the Gilroy Center for the Arts will include the names of the 10 individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit organizations that provide the Patrons of the Arts funding for the project.

The class has set up a survey for anyone interested in putting their names on a contact list for class members to connect with. The fundraising campaign is expected to start at the end of June based on the project receiving approval by the Gilroy City Council. The survey list does not commit a person, business or nonprofit organization to providing a donation. It simply serves as a way to connect with patrons for the mural project.

In late September of October when the mural is completed, the class will invite the South Valley community to a special “Celebrate the Arts Day!” event for a ribbon-cutting and other activities. Families are especially welcomed so that children can be involved in fun art projects and also get to meet people who are professional artists.

The “Celebrate the Arts!” project will benefit the Gilroy community for decades to come. Its impact includes:

  • Adding to the arts and culture in the downtown business district
  • Promoting the Gilroy Center for the Arts as a destination for families
  • Encouraging more school engagement in the local arts
  • The possible creation of an annual “Celebrate the Arts Day!” event in September or October
  • Encouraging original and creative thinking in kids
  • Connecting various cultures in Gilroy through the arts
  • Generating pride in the Gilroy community
Marty Cheek