Mural Marathon and Arts Festival Is Coming to Live Oak

The Murals of Live Oak (MOLO) project is entering its second year of creating crowd-pleasing works of public art throughout the City. Have you seen the giant train in “Railroading Away” on the back of the Live Oak Pharmacy, the nostalgic mural “Looking Back” on the Broadway Lounge or the new epic mural underway on the Live Oak Library called “Connected”? MOLO represents an ongoing collaboration between the City of Live Oak and Yuba Sutter Arts with the goal of inviting residents and visitors to “take a second look” at the hidden treasures in the community.

This mural season, Yuba Sutter Arts will “up the ante” by conducting a Mural Marathon. Five outstanding local mural artists will each paint a 10’x14’ mural in 48 hours from start to finish. The artists were hand-picked by the MOLO Committee based on the renderings they submitted. The images are breathtaking and won’t be revealed until the event. All five murals will be painted on the same wall which is on an unoccupied building at the corner of Elm and Broadway. The wall contains five distinct, framed sections that will provide the perfect backdrop for the murals.

The participating artists are: Rebecca Wallace, Yuba College Art Instructor; Whitney Still, River Valley High School Art Instructor; Rodney Herrera, Owner Elegant Arts Tattoo Studio; Roberto Valdés Sánchez, professional artist; and Aaron Burks, US Navy and Army Veteran and professional artist.

Start time for the Mural Marathon will be 4pm on Thursday, June 14. Yuba Sutter Arts will provide lighting so that artists who so choose will be able to work through the night. “Brushes (or spray cans) down” will be at 4pm on Saturday, June 16. Winners will be announced between 5 and 5:30pm on the 16th during the adjacent Live Oak Mural and Art Festival. All mural artists will have received a stipend of $750 for supplies and materials. The first place winner will receive an additional $2,000, second place – $1,000 and third place – $750. Each mural will include an image of a live oak tree and a hidden, non-sequitur object to encourage the viewer to take a closer look. The concurrent Arts Festival, to be held on Saturday as part of the wrap up festivities from 3 – 8pm, will feature other local artists displaying their work, along with music, food vendors, and other businesses and community organizations. The event is free and the community is invited to come out and cheer on their favorite muralist right up until the completion countdown.

“For a number of years, Reno has held a Mural Marathon and we asked ‘why not here?’” said David Read, YSA Executive Director. “The Reno event is massive, the murals much larger and the artists only have 24 hours to complete their designs, but we didn’t want to hurt anyone so decided on a more humane 48 hour time frame,” he added.

Live Oak recently received a $10 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER grant for its Live Oak Streetscape Project that will help transform the Highway 99 corridor into a boulevard-like main street. The Murals of Live Oak are a component of this renaissance in the community.