SALINAS — Rodeo President Brent Eastman had a unique idea for the 2018 California Rodeo Salinas’ commemorative poster.

Having a tie to local artist John Cerney, Eastman thought it would be fun to commission Cerney to create a unique mural for the California Rodeo Salinas that could be highlighted on the annual poster.

It was quite an undertaking, but the Rodeo’s team, including the president, marketing staff and Designer Tracy Hopper of Hopperopolis, and Cerney were able to collaborate and create a traditional rodeo poster out of the larger than life artwork that he painted.

The poster features a small crowd gathered near a bucking horse and rider, from a photo taken by Richard Field Levine, and fence. The original mural will be placed just south of the North Main Street exit on Highway 101; this will be a year-round marketing piece that really denotes the Rodeo as Salinas’ marquis event.

The California Rodeo has worked with Cerney in the past to create large murals of the Past Presidents Sam Eastman and Doc Etienne that visitors may have seen around Salinas. 

Cerney was born in Carmel and grew up in Salinas. He worked in the produce industry before studying art at the College of San Mateo and then California State University, Long Beach.

He became self-employed as an artist in 1985 and is the owner of John Cerney Murals in Salinas.

His work can best be described as “giant cut-out art,” ordinarily viewed from the comfort of an automobile. He would often convince farmers to let him use their barns as canvases and that evolved into cut-out paintings.

Cerney started working in giant scale in 1995, realizing that in order for the viewer to “take in” the figures from a quick moving car, they had to be more monumental in size. His projects are now located throughout the Midwest and Western United States and have been featured in numerous magazines, including National Geographic and Sunset.

The posters are available for purchase for $15 at the California Rodeo Salinas Office, 1034 N. Main St. in Salinas, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Fridays when the office is closed from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. for lunch.

Posters can also be purchased online by clicking on About Us and Store ( They will also be available for purchase at the California Rodeo Salinas July 19 to 22.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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