Murals to be placed on walls of underpasses, railroad bridge

Murals depicting history to be painted on city walls

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Courtesy Photo: Muralist Eliseo Silva.

Vibrant murals–depicting Colton’s diverse cultural history–will be painted on several underpasses and bridges by November.

The City Council on Tuesday approved a plan to allow muralist Eliseo Silva to paint under the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad bridge near the Santa Ana River, the La Cadena Drive underpass, and the 9th Street/I-10 freeway underpass.

Silva was provided approximately $99,000 by the city to develop designs and orchestrate the project. The city was provided with an estimated $155,000 in funding from the Union Pacific Railroad Company.

According to Utility Services Director David Kolk, the murals will be painted on wall paper at the Gonzales Community Center and then pasted along the walls of the underpasses.

“The design will be painted and wallpapered on the three places–starting with the 9th Street underpass,” Kolk said. “The beautification committee has approved these and reviewed them. Staff is ready to give the artist approval to begin the process.”

Photo/City of Colton: A rendering of Eliseo Silva’s proposed mural on La Cadena Drive.
Photo/City of Colton: A rendering of Eliseo Silva’s proposed mural on La Cadena Drive.

Silva, who has painted dozens of walls across the country, explained his work will convey the stories of the community through art.

“Murals draw passion to tell stories that have not been told,” said Silva. “Colton is a classic California town. The tunnel design will help provide insight of the city’s development through time.”

The community will have the opportunity to help paint the murals, according to Silva. He believes it will spark civic engagement.

“I’m hoping a lot of people get involved,” said Silva. “This will be therapeutic for them.”

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