A new mural at Mel’s

I wrote about the new mural in downtown Walnut Creek recently. What I did not go into detail on was that Local Edition also put up a mural outside of Mel’s Diner! Check out the pictures below – it’s a really interesting, visually stunning piece, in my opinion!

The installation outside of Mel’s was created by an artist at Local Edition named Masaka. According to the Local Edition website, “the canvas framework was inspired by whimsical 1950’s themed notes tying into the present day. The curvature and canvas layers throughout the art lures viewers in with curiosity as eyes start to wander from one layer to the next. The layers tell a story that is sometimes not conveyed through flat art. The tangible nature of the piece invites you into the artist’s process, build and passion with wonder.”

The artists has extensive experience in woodworking and carving precision from his days as a craftsman and dental technician, respectively. That experience, combined with a background in graffiti, led Masaka to this fusion of cutout pop art.

Local Edition writes that the purpose of the piece outside of Mel’s is to revitalize memories of the downtown Walnut Creek leisure experiences and incorporates landmarks from as far back as 1889, like St. Paul’s Chapel, El Rey Theater, Shadelands Ranch, the Lesher Center, and Century Theaters. Magnificent!

A new mural downtown highlighting diversity

I was stunned by a new mural on the side of Cheap Pete’s downtown the other day, while walking over to La Scala for a coffee. I had to stop and take a few pictures! Lucky for us, one of the brains behind the wonderful artwork provided some insight about the inspiration:

Sage at Local Edition Creative said he conceived the mural concept, which was pained by the agency’s lead artist, David “Hyde” Cho. Sage lives in Walnut Creek and says he wanted to add some more contemporary art that also incorporated something representing a different culture, as a way of indicating that Walnut Creek has a growing, diverse population.

He says: “I chose a Japanese theme for the serenity and beauty that I believed would be well received, as well as playing off the Geishas’ masks in the time of COVID. The statement is the we all wear different masks in our lives and COVID is a physical manifestation of this. The title is “jiko-jitsugen,” and is Japenese for “self-realization.” The basis for the concept of the mural’s meaning was jiko-jitsugen – or, that each person has three faces: one they show to the world, one they show to their family, and one they show to no one.”

How cool is that? Thank you so much to Sage and Local Edition for reaching out to me and providing the extra information and for blessing that blank wall downtown with amazing artwork that we can all enjoy! What a great message! Local Edition also created a small mural next to Mel’s downtown, which I will share on a later blog.

According to the Local Edition website, this mural came about through the Walnut Creek REBOUND program that fast-tracked existing city money to help small businesses with parklets, new art installations, and other crucial things to keep people engaged during the hardships of COVID-19. Now that we are back to partially being open, I hope those reading this will take some time to go downtown, support our local business’ and take a walk past the mural, or maybe on your way to the farmers market on Sunday!