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King City
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June 14, 2021

Painting resumes on King City mural after vandalism

Sun Street Centers project expected to be finished by end of May

KING CITY — Painters hit a delay in completing a mural underway on the side of Sun Street Centers in King City after a person defaced the project with spare paint.

The paint was cleaned after last Friday’s incident and repainting began the next morning, restoring much of the mural in short time.

Artist Bryan Lustre said the vandalism would likely only delay the entire mural by a week. The original mural opening was set for Mother’s Day, May 9, but it is now pushed back to the end of May.

On April 23, Lustre and art students from Sun Street had taken a short break to 7-Eleven at about 2 p.m. and returned minutes later to find that someone took two gallons of paint they had ready in buckets and splashed them all over the mural and the ground.

“They didn’t really know what they were doing,” Lustre said. “I guess he liked colors and he thought he could do a better job.”

The person in question was detained by King City Police on Broadway, and Lustre said drug use may have played a role in the outburst, but the Friday incident didn’t look to be malicious or personal.

“It’s fixable, to me it’s not that serious,” Lustre said. “I just hope that person recovers from what they’re going through.”

Sun Street Centers staff and volunteers work together to clean paint from the ground last Friday after an unfinished mural at the building, located at Broadway and South Mildred Avenue, was vandalized. (Sean Roney/Staff)

Sun Street Centers staff and guests were out shortly after to help clean the paint before it dried onto the wall and concrete.

Progress resumed after the cleanup, as much of the paint had dried on the mural surface thanks to the warm, windy afternoon. By Saturday, much of the defacing splatter was gone, though some colors changed among the flowers due to the availability of certain hues.

“We might modify a little bit, but it’s going to stick to the original plan,” Lustre said.

The design, which represents a theme of “growth through community support,” was created by the treatment center’s youth in order to represent their community.

Lustre teaches weekly classes at the Gonzales and King City branches of Sun Street Centers, having started last July.

Program Manager Denise Velasquez said Lustre gathered the youth’s ideas to create a garden scene to represent the center’s philosophy of encompassing compassion, hope, healing, sharing and thriving.

Lustre’s classes introduced different forms of art over their duration. They began with pencil sketches, clay, cast stone and painting, and then moved to a much larger project.

“In November, the youth began brainstorming ideas for the mural and started painting in April,” Velasquez said. “The entire project is expected to take approximately 40 hours to complete.”

She said the project is funded and led by the Arts Council of Monterey County. Participants are youth from Sun Street Centers Road to Success Pre-Diversion Program and Sun Street Centers South County STEPS Program.

Velasquez said an exhibit of youth art is planned at the King City Outpatient Building on Broadway Street.

A new class will soon begin in the Peninsula at Sun Street Centers’ Family Recovery Community at Pueblo Del Mar, where they will determine the next project.

Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers education, government and general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.

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