There’s a new head turner in downtown Guadalupe – well eight heads to be exact
“It was a really fantastic exercise of the community coming together [acknowledging] the sum is greater than its part,” said Executive Director of The Dunes Center, Doug Jenze.
In an art installation put on by The Dunes Center and The Squire Project, this mural made out of enlarged photographs hopes to illuminate the diversity in the Guadalupe.
“Over the years we’ve had the Swiss-Italian influence, the Filipino influence, the Portugese influence, and of course the Mexican Americans. So to see a cross section represented on this wall, I think is a great tribute to people who have made Guadalupe their home over the years,” explains Michelle Minetti-Smith who is featured in the mural.
These photos may be on the walls of the old Far Western Tavern now, but this building is eventually going to become the new location for The Dunes Center.
A desire to raise awareness about arts and culture while priming the community for an effort to give a local landmark new life led a partnership to create a mural in downtown Guadalupe on Saturday.
The Santa Barbara-based Squire Foundation and the Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes Center joined forces to help create a large mural featuring unique photographs of eight women from Guadalupe.
The Squire Foundation provided the artist, and the Dunes Center offered up an exterior wall of its future home — the former home of the Far Western Tavern.
“Public art is our favorite thing,” said Jana Brody, Squire Foundation Artist in Residence program manager.
The art foundation regularly selects artists to come to Santa Barbara County to create art and expose local communities to the arts. For northern Santa Barbara County, members selected conceptual fine arts photographer Lindsey Ross to create art.
“It is an honor to get to do a mural on such a beautiful building in this town. I was really curious about the North County and Guadalupe,” said Ross, who is based in Santa Barbara.
The piece, now part of the former Far Western Tavern building, is called “Women of Guadalupe,” according to Squire Foundation officials.
“We tried to bring together a variety of ages, backgrounds and people who are an integral part of the community,” Ross said.
Some familiar faces with names representing Guadalupe’s long-time families now adorn the former Far Western Tavern building and future home of the Dunes Center, thanks to a new mural by a Santa Barbara photographer.
The “Ladies of Guadalupe” mural, installed Saturday by photographer Lindsey Ross, features portraits of women with roots in Guadalupe.
As Ross and William Presley from the Squire Foundation completed installing the final panel — featuring the remainder of Michelle Minetti-Smith’s face — applause broke out among the small audience gathered to watch them work.
“I’m so pleased with it,” Ross said. “I love how everything turned out.
“The whole community came out. Several of the women who were featured in the portraits came here, so I had a lot of support and enthusiasm from the community on this project. It was really fun.”
The Dunes Center recently partnered with the Squire Foundation of Santa Barbara this October, 2017 as part of an ongoing program to expose world renown artists to the Santa Barbara County community. The Squire Foundation has selected national photographer Lindsey Ross, to produce a photographic mural in Guadalupe. KSBY came out on October 14 to watch the mural go up, watch the video here.
Guadalupe’s Dunes Center will receive a $25,000 grant from Phillips 66 to fund nature and science education programs. The grant money will go toward educational opportunities to underserved students in programs such as science, technology, engineering, and math.
Education programs that will benefit from funding include guided student field trips to Oso Flaco Lake, classroom science presentations, and informal programs available through 10-week-long after-school programs held in partnership with local schools and community organizations. Recent topics include geology and botany; oceanography will be offered this summer.
Additionally, ERG Resources announced at the annual fundraiser in June that they will pledge the funding necessary to complete another long-awaited archaeological project at the site where Cecil B. DeMille filmed the original The Ten Commandments in 1923. Continued excavation work will allow the Dunes Center to exhibit the sphinx statue. The support adds to contributions from the Towbes Foundation and Santa Barbara County’s Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund (CREF).
Funding will also allow the Dunes Center to hire a professional art restorer to preserve the historic statuary and reassemble it so it can be displayed to the public.