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King City in Bloom completes first phase of new historical mural

KING CITY — First phase of King City in Bloom’s “Tribute to Agriculture” historical mural has been artistically created and is now showcased on the west-facing wall of the El Pueblo Market, formerly Fairway Mart, on Broadway Street in downtown King City.

Those responsible for the work of art include Jennifer “Beebe” Hargrove, muralist and designer; and selected artists Hannah Stuerche, Steven “Stitch” Campos, Gloria Sanchez, Anai Velasquez and Julian Lopez.

“Their talents, skills and attention to detail in this mural are just outstanding,” said Laurie Slaten, chairwoman of King City in Bloom. “King City in Bloom Mural Committee is so fortunate to have had this creative team in bringing this enterprising project to life.”

The new artwork — the nonprofit group’s second mural — features an almost life-sized vintage blue flatbed truck in front of the original Southern Pacific Milling Company building, which later became Meyer Tomatoes and is now partly an H-2A Housing complex currently owned by David Gill.

Several influential agricultural businessmen, both past and present, are also pictured, along with produce crates that include depictions of several local ag company logos.

“It is with the sponsorships of these local ag companies with their logos in the mural that have not only enhanced this mural, but also provided much appreciated support in making this a viable project for the whole town and visitors to enjoy and appreciate,” Slaten said. “King City in Bloom extends its most grateful thanks to the ag company sponsors received thus far, and for their valued participation in this mural project.”

In addition to the ag company sponsorships, the mural project is funded through a grant from the Arts Council for Monterey County, which is sponsored by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

“King City is Bloom is so grateful to the Arts Council and the Board of Supervisors for this beneficial grant and the additional financial support given for our Mural Committee projects for a second consecutive year,” Slaten said.

King City in Bloom’s first historical mural, located at First and Broadway streets, depicts the town’s renowned train depot circa 1886. Hargrove also designed that mural, aptly named “Historic Kings Station Train Depot Mural,” which was completed last year.

Before painting began on the new mural in July, Mural Committee members Wes Beebe, Daymond Slaten and John Pekema were instrumental in setting up the site and prepping the building’s wall. Laurie Slaten and fellow members Marlise Uebelhardt and Kim Schmidt also provided backup assistance when needed.

Throughout the two weeks of mural artwork being rendered, the King City in Bloom Board and other members offered support with daily lunches for the artists to help sustain them with their creative work.

Additionally, El Pueblo Market owners provided the five new farmhouse-style lamps that were installed by Torres Electric to enhance and showcase the mural façade at night.

Mural sponsorships are still available for Salinas Valley companies tied to the agriculture industry. Contact Janet Buttgereit at 831-595-1565 to inquire about sponsor options and secure choice logo locations.

The mural’s second phase, which will extend and lengthen the project, will commence later this fall.

“So there is still one last chance for your company logo to be incorporated into this design and be showcased in the final segment of this awesome ag mural,” Slaten said.

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King City in Bloom Chairwoman Laurie Slaten contributed to this story.

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