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New mural to be featured on building in downtown area

A proposal for a colorful new mural has been approved for the southern wall of a building located at the corner of Main Avenue and Elder Street. The proposed mural will depict a Santa Fe train entering the old Fallbrook train station and be placed on the building formerly occupied by the Fallbrook Enterprise newspaper.

On September 15, the Fallbrook Community Planning Group (FCPG) approved a request made by the Art in Public Places Committee (Fallbrook Village Association) to issue a Waiver of a B Community Design Review Special Area Regulation for the 10- by 16-foot mural.

According to Art in Public Places Committee Chairman Jim Swan, the old Enterprise building was selected because “it is close to the center of village activity.”

The property that the Enterprise building stands on is owned by Marcella Barkow but currently being leased by the Fallbrook Village Association. It is being painted and renovated by Fallbrook Investment Two, a local investment group.

Once the renovations are done, the building will be subleased to tenants, one of which will be Fallbrook Martial Arts, whose current location at 113 South Main will renovated into a multi-tenant building with commercial orientation.

Art in Public Places committee member Jerri Patchett informed the FCPG that trains have been an important part of Fallbrook’s history because of their use in transporting produce, lumber, passengers and military supplies from Fallbrook to the Naval Weapons Station.

The Art in Public Places Committee, a division of the Fallbrook Center for the Arts and Fallbrook Village Association, is responsible for finding public art projects and placing them around the village. Committee members said they felt that this mural would make a perfect addition to the public arts program, as they have recently had to remove bronze statues around the village in response to recent thefts.

The committee has been actively looking for works of art made from alternative materials for use in the public program. Swan said the idea for murals was the “most workable idea.”

The mural was designed by local artist Brett Stokes and will be maintained by the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance. The mural will be painted on panels with UV and graffiti coating and will be able to be removed and placed at a different location if the need arises.

The mural will depict the old Ellis Hotel and citrus and avocado crops in addition to the Santa Fe train, which Patchett claimed was the “perfect” way to commemorate “the importance of trains in Fallbrook’s history,” especially since it would be seen by anyone driving into the downtown historical district.

Swan said the funding phase of the train mural project has just been completed with half of the approximated $6,500 needed to complete the mural raised, allowing the committee to commission Stokes to begin the mural. The committee hopes to be able to raise the other half of the money within the next few weeks in order to have the mural finished within a few weeks’ time.

Beneath the mural will be two plaques: one thanking donors who made the mural possible and another to give information about the historical significance of the mural.

The Art in Public Places Committee is constantly looking for new spots to place public art, and one of the goals of the committee is to have an “art walk” featuring several pieces throughout town.

Anyone interested in making a contribution to the Fallbrook Art in Public Places program can contact Jim Swan at (760) 723-5757 or Jerri Patchett at (760) 723-8635.

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