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Merced mural finished, dedication planned

A mural created by the UC Merced Arts and Global Arts Studies Program with help from members of the community at McNamara Park in Merced is seen June 6. A dedication ceremony and celebration is planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the 1040 Canal St. park.
A mural created by the UC Merced Arts and Global Arts Studies Program with help from members of the community at McNamara Park in Merced is seen June 6. A dedication ceremony and celebration is planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the 1040 Canal St. park. akuhn@mercedsunstar.com

A mural painted by more than 100 volunteers from several groups in Merced is finished, and organizers plan to dedicate the artwork with a celebration Saturday.

The newly refurbished bathroom at the center of McNamara Park is now decorated by a mural meant to reflect the city’s diversity thanks to the collaboration of UC Merced arts programs, Merced Organizing Project, Yosemite Leadership Program and Yosemite National Park, as well as the city of Merced and its Parks and Recreation Department.

The dedication ceremony and celebration is planned for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the 1040 Canal St. park. The celebration will include music, food and children’s art activities, according to UC Merced professor Richard Gomez.

“All in all, I am very satisfied with the results and feel that the work is a very unique and original artwork here in Merced and the surrounding area,” Gomez said in an email.

The mural covers close to 8 feet by 23 feet of each of three sides of the building.

The first wall is marked with a little girl blowing bubbles. The bubbles are filled with images of painter Frida Kahlo, author Maya Angelou, Gen. Vang Pao and naturalist John Muir.

The second wall features farmworkers, a nod to the many migrant populations who have come to Merced over the decades to work in the fields.

A soaring eagle is on the final wall, where it makes an anti-violence statement by crushing handguns in its talons.

Jacob Croasdale, a coordinator for the Yosemite Leadership Program, said the event is a celebration of a collaborative effort among UC Merced groups, the city and residents in south Merced.

The event is free and open to anyone. For more information, email Croasdale at jcroasdale@ucmerced.edu.

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