Window Shades Project Public Viewing

Window Shades Project Public Viewing

The City of Tracy, Cultural Arts Division (CAD) announces the completion of a new collaborative Civic Art Project in downtown Tracy. CAD Staff and the Tracy Arts Commission, with the Grand Foundation (Kaylin Dell’Aringa, Former Chair) and Tracy City Center Association (Dino Margaros, Executive Director) and Kim Cose (Community Member at Large) worked collaboratively to select the area artists that will be featured.

A compelling set of images by artists Alyn Brereton (Modesto), Delbert Park (Tracy), Angela Johal (Livermore) and Mark Roberts (Antioch) are printed on 14 custom-fabricated shades across the windows of the art galleries. Five large-format works in painting and photography become murals on the streetscape, adding beauty, energy and interest to the area.

The public is invited to celebrate the project with a sidewalk viewing on Wednesday, October 28 at 10:00 am, at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, located at 715 Central Avenue. Social distancing and the use of masks are encouraged.

The project was co-funded with generous support from the Grand Foundation, the fundraising partner of the Center. The shades were manufactured and installed by OrangePiel of the Bay Area, a full-service design and technology company specializing in window shades and acoustical wall murals.

Veteran’s Mural Project by Will Watts

Now on display in Jackson Alley, adjacent to the Box Office windows on Central Avenue! As part of the Downtown Tracy Mural Project, artist and veteran Will Watts created this powerful and personal large-format work.

The Tracy Arts Commission invited Mr. Watts to create a temporary piece of street art addressing issues of health and wellness for those who have and are serving in our military. Mr. Watts served in the United States Army from 2006 to 2016, deployed twice in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Shortly after his second deployment, he was involved in a motorcycle crash, which broke both his legs. The accident abruptly ended Will’s military career and sent him into a deep depression. Surgeries resulted in anger and paranoia, feeling disconnected and alone, and with a constant fear of
death. Ultimately Will lost hope and became suicidal, lashing out and endangering himself and loved ones.

As a result, Will checked himself into therapy through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Desperate to get help in any way, he discovered a website that spoke about a plant medicine called Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is one of the world’s most powerful psychedelic teas containing dimethyltryptamineIn, commonly known as DMT.

Spontaneously, Will then traveled to Peru seeking guidance and healing, resulting in his participation in Ayahuasca ceremonies. His experiences had profound emotional and life-changing impact with Will confronting his fears and mistakes, and once again finding love and compassion. In addition, Will began to explore new things, teaching himself to play the piano and to paint. He has helped several veterans and friends visit Peru with positive results, and even traveled back to Afghanistan as a civilian to find peace.

“In my healing I met God and the devil. They were both shadows of myself who taught me many lessons about myself, and the universe. I came to understand that anger was useless, and that the meaning of life was about love and understanding. I felt a light radiating out of the center of my soul and I was whole again. Painting has been a wonderful outlet for my mental health, and has helped me channel many of the negative feelings that I have into something positive and creative. This mural that I have created is dedicated to all of the service members out there who have gone through depression, anxiety, PTSD, and trauma, and urges those who are lost to research the plant medicine Ayahuasca. It saved my life and transformed me into a person that I now love. Though we may feel lost at times, we are never alone.” – Will Watts

Special Event in Honor of Leona Darr Willis

Please note this event originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 has been postponed as part of the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts public closure due to the Covid-19 health crisis. This event is anticipated to be rescheduled in 2021. Event details will be announced as they become available.