By Kathy Chouteau
A new mural is underway at Richmond’s Pullman Portal Park that reflects the neighborhood it calls home.
Lead project artist Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez and a team of Groundwork Richmond worker bees are hard at work creating the mural at the southern end of the park located at 23rd St. and Carlson Blvd. in Richmond. The project has been made possible by the East Bay Community Foundation and the City of Richmond.
“The 12 x 40′ mural aims to show the positive contributions of Pullman residents, many of whom are essential workers. It shows workers wearing uniforms and walking toward a sunrise along a landscape similar to the Pullman neighborhood,” said Garcia-Gonzalez about the project.
Per the artist, the mural’s design was the brainchild of neighborhood residents and Groundwork Richmond’s Green Team, consisting of youth from the organization’s Summer Youth Employment Program who are helping to paint it.
In preparation for the mural, Groundwork Richmond Executive Director Matt Holmes oversaw his organization’s Green Corps and Green Team in constructing a 480 square-foot wall for the mural. As part of the effort, wooden panels were used to create the wall that’s located along a park fence and the project team took the needed precautions to protect it from the elements.
The Green Team also worked throughout the summer to beautify Pullman Portal Park. According to the organization, they conducted a liter abatement project and removed invasive species from the area.
Currently, the mural project is approximately 50 percent complete, according to Garcia-Gonzalez. Initially, the project was expected to be completed by the end of September, but due to the poor air quality, mural contributors have been unable to work outside for more than a week. As such, the updated completion timeframe is expected to be mid-October.