On the morning of June 26th, artist Solange Roberdeau was putting the finishing touches on her mural, which faces the Rail Trail at Perkins Street in Ukiah, CA.
photo: Artist Solange Roberdeau and her Pomo basket-inspired mural, at the Rail Trail and Perkins Street in Ukiah.
The mural took approximately two and a half weeks to complete, and features a large abstracted Pomo basket design in a palette of grey, black, and red.
The Rail Trail is a well-travelled paved pathway that runs parallel to the tracks, connecting Gobbi Street at the south end to Clara Street on the north. The City of Ukiah has secured funding to continue the trail north and south to approximately the city limits.
Executing a mural on the Rail Trail was an unusual experience for Roberdeau. At one point, a homeless person offered the artist a can of soda; another time, a passer by made off with some of her painting supplies. Fortunately, she was able to retrieve them from the dry bed of nearby Gibson Creek with help from a bystander’s tip. Other than this minor mishap and some of Ukiah’s 100-plus degree plus days the project was executed smoothly and as planned.
Kelly Moore Paints generously donated the paint and supplies and the Arts Council of Mendocino County provided funding to the artist through a competitive Local Impact grant from the California Arts Council, as well as matching funds from the community, raised by Art Center Ukiah. The mural was originally designed for but ultimately not used at the Ukiah Library, and the Arts Council was able to arrange for a modified design to be transferred to the new site. Local artist and patron of the arts Laura Fogg provided local lodging to the Elk-based artist.
The California Arts Council’s Local Impact program fosters equity, access, and opportunity by supporting small arts organizations with operating budgets under $1 million in reaching underserved populations with limited access to the arts. The local arts council’s grant from CAC is being used to fund two mural projects in Ukiah this year: Solange Roberdeau’s completed mural on the Rail Trail and Lauren Sinnott’s larger mural on Church Street.
Both artists were selected through a competitive application process and Sinnott’s design engaged the City of Ukiah’s Public Art Policy due to its location on a wall of the Ukiah Conference Center, which is a public building. That proposal was therefore reviewed by and (unanimously) approved by the City’s Design Review Board as well as the Planning Commission. The Arts Council secured an encroachment permit from them, and work for both murals began in mid-May.
For more information, contact the Arts Council of Mendocino County at ArtsMendocino.org or 70.463.2727.