On Shared Path for ‘Intersections’ Mural Project

It’s a great time for public art in Bakersfield. The latest good news comes from the Arts Council of Kern, which has partnered with Caltrans under a Clean California local grant, for Intersections, a new community mural project.

Jeanette Richardson, executive director of the Arts Council of Kern, said Caltrans reached out last fall about the roadside beautification project in District 6, which includes Kern, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings counties.

“Just today I signed the last of the paperwork,” she said Tuesday. “It was a process working with the state but I’m so excited that Bakersfield gets to be a part of this.”

She noted there have already been similar projects including in Fresno, Eureka, and Humboldt County using Clean California local grants, which aid underserved, rural and urban communities throughout the state.

Three murals are planned — at Garces Circle, Q Street and Route 204, and California Avenue and Highway 99 — as well as nine electrical boxes along Union Avenue as part of the Clean California Beautification Projects.

Mayor of Bakersfield, Karen Goh Mayor of Bakersfield, Karen Goh

Richardson said, “We wanted to do California Avenue; that is the gateway if you get on and off the freeway at 99. Garces Circle is such an iconic area of Bakersfield. … and at Q Street, what an opportunity to have something beautiful there. I’m excited about all of them.”

Caltrans will handle the landscaping and fencing at each site while the Arts Council will be responsible for providing the art.

Although other projects have brought in artists from out of the area, Richardson said she wanted to stick to Kern County for the search.

“One of the things that I requested was to use all local artists. I really believe we have enough muralists in our community for this.”

Artists will be organized in three tiers — lead artists, professional artists, and apprentices — for each mural.

To help organize the search, the council tapped Jennifer Williams-Cordova, who has been involved in a number of local mural projects, including the “Bloom” mural at the Beale Avenue overpass between Kentucky and Jackson streets.

To read the complete article click here: Bakersfield.com. Follow the Arts Council of Kern on Facebook and Instagram.