Artist Ruben Espinoza faced a bigger challenge than usual when working on his latest mural.
As part of the Squire Foundation’s Artist in Residence Program, Espinoza was tasked with installing a brand new mural on the side of the building that once housed the historic Far Western Tavern in Guadalupe, now located in Old Town Orcutt. The seasoned muralist was up for the job, until he came face-to-face with the blustering winds many in the region are all too familiar with.
“It was very, very windy,” he said. “And it was unexpected. I know Guadalupe is windy, but I didn’t think it would be that windy. I was trying to hold down my tarp, even with four buckets of paint, it was still flying off. Plus, I could only work with a small amount of paint, if the brush was soaked in paint, it would fly everywhere.”
But a little spot of bad weather isn’t enough to thwart Espinoza, who has spent the past few years in Santa Maria working to bring art to more public spaces. In addition to a recent utility box art project, Espinoza also unveiled a mural at the Old Orcutt Barber Shop last year. So when the Squire Foundation’s Artist in Residence Program and the Dunes Center in Guadalupe came together to create a public art installation, Espinoza was a prime candidate.