Leadership group seeks big mural

CELEBRATING ARTS This is the proposed design for the new mural at the Arts Center, which will be voted on by the Gilroy City Council Monday. Contributed.

Artist Sheryl Cathers commissioned for giant wall
Members of the 2017 Leadership Gilroy class are seeking local patrons of the arts to help them inspire all young people in the community to appreciate the arts and engage in artistic endeavors. The class chose the title “Celebrate the Arts!” for its community service project, a large mural with a youth-in-the-arts theme.
They will seek approval from the Gilroy City Council Monday.
The class commissioned professional muralist Sheryl Cathers to paint the mural on the outdoor plaza wall of the Gilroy Center of the Arts. The founder of the Dabble Art Center in downtown Gilroy, Cathers created another youth-focused mural at the Gilroy Public Library.
“We are honored to have this mural located on our north wall at the center,” said Kevin Heath, executive director of the Gilroy Arts Alliance which operates the arts center. “The 2017 Leadership Gilroy Class is to be commended for their choice to enhance the arts downtown, in our community, and for our youth. The mural will be a reminder of the importance of the arts for generations to come.”
The class also plans to work with schools and nonprofit organizations to encourage young people to get involved in their own forms of artistic expression, including learning about the process of creating original works of art.
The idea for the mural to beautify downtown at the art center’s plaza came from Mattie Scariot, the chair of the Gilroy Arts and Cultural Commission. She proposed it to the
 Gilroy Arts Alliance two years ago and now is pleased that Leadership Gilroy’s class of 2017 is taking the project on.
The mural project has been approved by the Gilroy Arts Alliance, the Gilroy Arts and Cultural Commission and the Gilroy Public Art Committee. The Gilroy City Council will vote on the project at its July 10 public meeting. If approval is granted, the class hopes to have the project completed by the end of September or in mid-October.
The mural will highlight images of children portrayed as actively working on 10 categories of artistic endeavors: Theater Arts, Literary Arts, Dance Arts, Cinematic Arts, Painting/Drawing, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, Culinary Arts and Photographic Arts.
“The mural will show children of elementary school age representing various demographics happily involved in activities in various styles of the visual and performing arts,” the 2017 Leadership Gilroy class said in a press release.
The mural will surround a large rectangular blank area bordered by velvet curtains painted around it. This blank space will be used by the Gilroy Arts Alliance to show free films in its Movies on the Green summer events.”
The class needs to raise at least $10,000 for the labor and materials for the mural. The Leadership Gilroy class has launched a special “Patrons of the Arts” fundraising campaign to team up with donors providing $1,000 each. Either an area of the mural or a special bronze plaque on the outside wall of the Gilroy Center for the Arts will include the names of the 10 individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit organizations that provide the Patrons of the Arts funding for the project.
The class has set up an “A-list” survey for anyone interested in putting their names on a contact list for class members to connect with as a possible Patron of the Arts donor. Potential donors interested in providing funds for the mural can contact Gilroy Leadership class member Nita Edde-Mitchell at  [email protected]  or phone her at (408) 640-6162.
The “A-list” survey does not commit its takers to providing a donation. It simply serves as a way to connect the Leadership Gilroy class members with potential donors for the mural project.
On Oct. 7 when the mural is completed, the class will welcome the South Valley community to a special “Celebrate the Arts Day!” event for a ribbon-cutting and other activities. Families are especially welcomed so children can participate in fun art projects and also get to meet professional artists.