Photo Credit: Lisa Lunde
College Students Complete New Mural
Art Graces Coyote Dam Project
Ukiah, CA – Mendocino College Art students and scholarship recipients Judy Geer and Sherri Carroll have completed a mural on the Bill Townsend Fish Hatchery located at the Coyote Dam Fish Egg Collection Facility at Lake Mendocino. The sixty-one foot long by twelve foot high mural initiated and sponsored by the Ukiah Rod and Gun Club and The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers depicts Steelhead Trout in their habitat.
Mendocino College Art Professor Paula Gray says, "When Shannon Garton approached me last spring about the proposed mural, the first two students I thought of for the project were Judy and Sherri. Having had both of them in classes and seeing how gifted and talented they both are, it seemed like they would be a perfect fit for the project. I put them in contact with Shannon and they took it from there." Both Geer and Carroll have also recently exhibited their art in a show at the Willits Art Center. Judy Geer, who resides in Redwood Valley with her family, works in multiple medias including ceramics, paper maché and paint, but this was her first time to tackle a mural of this scale. Sherri Carroll, a mother of two, commutes to the college from Laytonville and usually does smaller murals, paintings and graphic designs.
Carroll says, "It was nice working with Judy. Our styles complemented each other. I liked that we had so much freedom to work on the design. A mural of that scale requires a lot of close work up on ladders and then you have to get down to look at it from far away. How it looks far away is much different than how it appears up close. That was something we had to take into consideration. I like the large scale of this mural and definitely want to do more of a smaller size and collaborate with other artists."
Bob Collett who oversees the fish hatchery was extremely helpful and supportive of the project and supplied the muralists with detail information about the portrayed fish. Special thanks also needs to be given to the US Army Corps of Engineers and especially Pat Ford and Shannon Garton of the Ukiah Rod and Gun Club.
"Ukiah should have more public art,” says Judy Geer. "When thinking of designing the mural, I wanted to keep in mind that it is really educational, and about the fish. I had to consider how it would look from the top of Coyote Dam. It was great working with these agencies and painting a mural of such size and magnitude."
Funding permitted, there are future plans to paint the entire life-cycle of the Steelhead from egg to maturity on another wall of the hatchery.
People who would like to contact Ms. Geer or Ms. Carroll may call the college Art department at 468-3022. The best times to view the mural is: December through April, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm seven days a week.
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