Murray helping San Bernardino rise through art

Photo/Anthony Victoria: Rory Murray sits next to McDonald’s Museum Mural on 1398 N. ‘E’ Street in San Bernardino.
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                           Dealing with adversity, dealing with this tragedy /

                       The folks of my community have joined as one in unity /

                                            We will rise, we will rise.

Rory Murray composed a song to uplift the spirits of the community in the wake of the December 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino. The song, “We Will Rise”, was written following the candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium.

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The 57-year-old spent last Saturday morning touching up the mural at the McDonald’s Museum at 1398 N. ‘E’ Street and interacting with tourists who came to learn about San Bernardino.

One way Murray believes the city is coping with tragedy and adversity is through the arts. “This is a gift to the people of San Bernardino,” Murray said. “This is a labor of love.”

The musician and artist hails from Corona, but has lived in the San Bernardino for 25 years. As a youth, Murray spent lots of time in the city, attending concerts at the Swing Auditorium. Seeing performers like B.B. King and The Grateful Dead and cruising down ‘E’ Street made him fall in love with the city’s car and rock n’ roll culture.

For years, Murray and fellow artist Phil Yeh have painted the walls of the McDonald’s Museum in hopes of providing a comprehensive story of the city’s cultural past and its prominent contributors.

“I think it’s been a treat to portray the experiences of many through art,” he said. “And it’s been a treat to learn more about San Bernardino’s history.”

The mural, which covers every side of the McDonald’s Museum, features images of San Bernardino’s historic locations. Among them are the Norton Air Force Base, the Wigwam Motel, the Arrowhead, and the California Theatre. Portraits of prominent people, such as educator Dorothy Ingram, Xerox founder Chester Carlson, and former actor Will Rogers are also present.

Earlier in the year, Murray and Yeh, with the help of cartoonists Phil Ortiz, Carlos Saldana, Beth Winokur, and Tim Gula, painted the north side of the mural in front of dozens of residents.

Murray thinks such events are a creative way to teach visitors and future residents about San Bernardino, while also inspiring them to bring forth change.

“It’s a cool way to show visitors our history, while also providing them with motivation to make this a better place,” he said.


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