KING CITY — A new mural is in the works on the side of Pete’s Towing, with artwork that pays tribute to Salinas Valley ranching and the Salinas Valley Fair.
The project is being spearheaded by King City in Bloom, with art direction by Jennifer Beebe Hargrove. Ranchers are being asked to sponsor the project, and sponsoring ranches — 98 and counting so far — will have their brands displayed around the outer edge of the art.
Anyone interested in getting his or her cattle brand on the mural can contact King City in Bloom Chairperson Allie Cullen at 831-737-2067.
The artwork is planned in two phases, which began on April 3 with a night projection to draw in the first details. Painting began April 4 and will continue this week, but the final phase will take place in June, to meet the project’s expected finish time of June 23.
Hargrove designed the artwork, which will have one of SVF’s big red barns, a Ferris wheel, and the Salinas Valley rolling hills in the background. Scattered around the foreground will be fair attendees and ranchers, all drawn from input from King City in Bloom and with the help of photographs provided by TJ Plew.
Hargrove said it was important to recognize familiar faces when looking at the scene.
“We wanted to represent the 4-H, FFA and the ranchers and our beautiful mountains,” she said.
Hargrove has previously directed the mural painting of multiple projects in King City, including El Pueblo Market, King City High School and a water tank at the fairgrounds.
While she used to use a slower and more detail-intensive grid system to transfer artwork to a mural site, Hargrove said she picked up the projection process to speed up projects from the advice of Stitch Campos, another artist of local projects.
Helping to paint the project is a team of students, Bryan Valdez, Maria Rocha and Haley Rowe from King City High School, as well as Hartnell art student Gloria Sanchez, who herself helped on the El Pueblo mural. Valdez also helped with the Interact Club mural at KCHS.
Hargrove named Sanchez as her desired candidate to lead future mural projects, after having made the decision to move to Georgia. The Pete’s Towing mural will be her last in King City.
“It’s been a privilege to have done so many,” said Hargrove, announcing that the next planned mural will be based on the vineyards. “I’m hoping Ms. Gloria would be the lead muralist on that. It’s best to have someone who has the experience.”
Sanchez said she has learned much working with Hargrove, from new styles to color coordination and even the use of abstraction.
“It advanced more of my art skills,” she said.
Sanchez said if the next mural project were an opportunity for her to lead, she would do it.
“I am an art major in Hartnell, so I have gotten experience,” she said. “It would be great to be a part of that.”