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

Remembering Our Friend Pauline Tolman (1961 – 2018)

pauline-tolman

Pauline Tolman  was a Sacramento/San Francisco-based artist inspired by nature, beauty, whimsy and childhood, known for her large scale metal sculpture and architectural installations.  Her striking cinematic installation – Travel Through Time, 2010 – is prominently featured and celebrated on the bus shelters at the Tracy Transit Station on 6th St. in downtown.

Pauline’s work resides in several public and private collections in the region.  Recently, she was proud to assist artist Dana Albany on here monumental work Tara Mechani featured at Burning Man, and currently on display at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose through June 9th, 2018.  Pauline was also an artist in consideration of a future civic art project at Legacy Fields in recognition of Tracy’s rich baseball history.

In addition to her work as an artist, Pauline engaged in cycling, kayaking, hiking, camping, snowboarding and nature photography.
A celebration of her life will be held in July in her hometown of Bemidji, MN.

Remembering Our Friend Rowland Cheney (1943 – 2015)

STATUE AT ROUNDABOUT3 (12-06-13)  Rowland Cheney runs electrical wiring through his ÒHarvest of ProgressÓ statue before it is raised over a platform at the center of the Sixth Street-Central Avenue roundabout late Dec. 5.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press

Rowland Cheney  (Clements, CA) was a  prolific member of our creative community. He and his fiance,  Mary Doucette of Lodi, were among the nine people lost in a plane crash near Ketchikan, Alaska in June of 2015.

Mr. Cheney was a celebrated Emeritus Professor of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture at San Joaquin Delta College, professional artist and an important member of the Kiger Mustang community.  The Tracy community worked with Rowland for three years to create the largest work of his career, the monumental 20′ landmark sculpture Harvest of Progress, at Central Avenue and 6th Street in downtown.

The photo (courtesy of the Tracy Press/Glenn Moore) to the left shows the artist hard at work on the cold night of December 5th, 2013, when Harvest of Progress was installed.

Remembering Our Friend Steve Mudge (1953 – 2015)

steve-mudge

Steve Mudge (Modesto, CA / Santa Fe, NM) was a talented man of many accomplishments, funny and smart, and a celebrated metal sculptor.  He exhibited in the Co-Op in the South Gallery and worked with Mark Knize (Tracy, CA) creating two 4′ x 16′ plasma-cut steel relief sculptures, Arrivals and Departures, on display in the main lobby of the Tracy Transit Station.

Steve (left) and Mark (right) are pictured here during the late night installation at the Transit Station in 2010.  Both smiling after an exhausting day of work.