Davis Mural Team brings more color to city

In partnership with the John Natsoulas Gallery, located at 521 First St., the Davis Mural Team presented to the City of Davis 35 new sculptures and murals.

The team is comprised of 12 artists from throughout California. It is one of the top mural teams in the country because of the amount of artworks completed in a short time period, said Kerry Rowland-Avrech, a local resident and artist of the Davis Mural Team.

All of the artwork is located within the Downtown Davis, allowing the public to easily walk from piece to piece. Each piece of art has a QR code which allows those with smartphones to view a video about the artists and their works.

Among the 35 works of art is “Splash” by Rowland-Avrech. “Splash” is located on the Davis Ace Housewares back wall facing the Amtrak station at Second Street.

“It was a way of putting the paint and the artist together,” Rowland-Avrech said. “It’s about bringing painting to life.”

She also said in Davis Mural Team, a book about the pieces of art, that the concept behind the painting was to create the outlines of other artists on the team. She said the artwork gave a “highly personal yet universal approach to the mural.”

All art pieces are primarily painted or situated on private businesses, but two pieces are on public property. One of the works of art on public property is Charlie Schneider’s mural “Color Study for Cyclists” inside the Richards Boulevard bike tunnel.

“I used this idea of the speed of light to make the mural change. As you ride by, you [can] see the blue and the yellow creating a green,” Schneider said.

Schneider is a long-time resident of Davis and has had work featured at art shows at the John Natsoulas Gallery. He was approached by the City of Davis, two hotel owners near the tunnel and Natsoulas to be part of the team to create a piece for the tunnel.

According to Carrie Dyer, community services supervisor of the Recreation and Civic Arts Department of the City of Davis, in order to get an artwork on public property, a proposal must be submitted to a subcommittee that is composed of the Civic Arts Commission and city staff.

“The city was very excited that there was a group of people in town to do something beautiful with it [the tunnel],” Dyer said.

Each artist came up with an idea of what they wanted for their mural. With the help of fellow artists on the team, the murals were completed within two to three days. These murals were made possible through donations and fundraisers held by the John Natsoulas Gallery.

According to Davis Mural Team, Natsoulas wanted to make Downtown Davis an art destination. He got together with friends and artists to create art for private businesses. One of the first murals was created by Rowland-Avrech in 2010 when she made “Windows” for the Anderson Bank building, located at 203 G St.

The John Natsoulas Gallery has been in Davis since the 1980s. The gallery was originally a house that was purchased by Natsoulas, who later added two stories. Today, the gallery has a small café with a deck in the front.

“It’s a labor of love. We’ve been doing it for free to put the community spirit back and to make Davis an art destination,” Rowland-Avrech said. “In the long run, it makes a happier environment for the artists and the public to enjoy them.”

MEE YANG can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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