Tag Archives: murals

Welcome Home Warriors Vietnam Veterans Mural Project

Welcome Home Warriors Vietnam Veterans Mural Project

Yucca Valley Artists Awarded International Commission to Honor Vietnam Veterans

On true Larger Than Life Murals scale, Welcome Home Warriors is a huge public art mural honoring veterans and the fallen of the Vietnam War. Yucca Valley artists Linda Shrader and Echo Westover of Larger Than Life Murals were awarded the mural commission after an international call-for-artists by the Manteca Mural Society (MMS), Manteca, CA.

The mother-daughter team recently painted the 16 x 20 foot mural in their Yucca Valley studio, working for the first time on panels of a special fabric-like material called non-woven polyester.


The Painting of Welcome Home Warriors Mural


The Mural Design Phase

Westover took the reins on the original design concept. After months of research and design work, preliminary designs were submitted and reviewed by the mural committee. Public meetings were held to gather community feedback and veteran’s comments. Muralists were narrowed down to 3 finalists, whom then each hand painted a 16″ x 20″ scaled model of their design.

The MMS had a long list of specific content requested by the veterans. The mural includes, an M113 APC (armored personnel carrier), a Chinook and Medevac helicopter, an F-4 Phantom fighter jet, a representation of women in service, although they were not in the field, and a “War Dog” and handler, a bunker, and much more.

What they didn’t want, was something that looked like a collage, or a bunch of individual pictures in boxes. The artists were asked to make the mural look as much as possible like an actual scene from the war.

 

“They didn’t just want us to paint their mural, they wanted us to paint their story.” Linda Shrader

Progress of panels 2 and 3 of the Welcome Home Warriors Mural in the studio. Photo by LTLM.
Progress of panels 2 and 3 of the Welcome Home Warriors Mural in the artist’s studio. Photo by LTLM.

“It was a challenge finding great reference photos for all the content in the necessary angles to work in the composition,” notes Shrader. “We did have to improvise a lot in the design and painting phases to adjust light and shadows to reflect a consistent time of day, and to make everything full color, because so many war photos were shot in black and white or sepia tone.”

While many military photos are available free of charge in the Public Domain, some of the historical photos the artists chose required licensing, which can be quite costly. One image licensed for the mural through Getty Images, the large soldier stepping into the mural, was listed at almost $600.

A Chance Meeting With Tim Page, Iconic Vietnam War Photographer

While researching another photo the artists wanted to use, they thought they had tracked down the original photographer to request a license. The photograph turned out not to be his, but the inquiry had lead them to photojournalist Tim Page, an iconic Vietnam War Photographer, now living in Australia. The photojournalist in ‘Apocalypse Now’, played by Dennis Hopper was based on Page.

Page was happy to help the artists, taking the time to delve into his colossal archive of Vietnam War photos to search for their requests.

“He sent us dozens of images to choose from,” recounts Westover, “Amazing work, all of them. Five of which were perfect to license for the mural. We were very grateful.”

“We also learned through Tim,” adds Shrader, “That so many photographers also died or went missing in Vietnam, and those who returned were never really recognized or welcomed home, just like our military service veterans. I thought it was so apropos that several of Tim’s photos were used for this particular mural.”

For more about Tim Page, visit his website at http://www.timpage.com.au


The Mural Installation

A Seasoned Crew Installs The Mural In One Day

Installer and master muralist, Dave Gordon (pictured below), along with a seasoned all-volunteer crew lead by Ron Cruz, Project Supervisor and Vietnam Combat Veteran, met Shrader for the first time as she delivered the mural to be installed. Beginning at 6:30 AM and finishing just before sunset, the veteran’s mural was installed in one, long day.

Westover arrived a day later, and the artists had a couple of days to perform touch-ups on the mural before Gordon finished the installation phase with protective spray coatings.

The mural transfer, artist Linda Shrader hands over the mural to the installation crew.
L to R, Dave Gordon, Bill Barnhart, Gene Bedard, Linda Shrader, Fred Gallegos, Ron Cruz, Bill Buffington, Jack Dauler, and Roger LaPresle.

The Mural Was Viewed Whole For The First Time

As the lift and protective covering came down, stopping and starting to a loud beep, beep, beep… the mural was viewed whole for the first time. As Shrader stepped back to take it all in, she noticed several of the men from the crew taking photos with their cell phones.

“I got a big kick out of seeing the crew taking photos immediately after they finished,” mused Shrader. “I took it as a sign that they were proud of what we had accomplished.”

Crew Taking Photos After Welcome Home Warriors Mural Installation. Photo by LTLM
Crew Taking Photos After Welcome Home Warriors Mural Installation. Photo by LTLM

Video Slideshow of Welcome Home Warriors Mural Installation

The Vietnam War mural is the fourth mural to be installed as part of a larger mural project which will total $125,000 and 5 murals when completed next year. The veterans and the fallen from World War l, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Global War on Terror will all be represented in the monumental project.


High-Speed Time-Lapse Video of Welcome Home Warriors Mural Installation

Wall before Welcome Home Warriors mural installation.
Wall before Welcome Home Warriors mural installation.

Installed on the oldest and largest historical building in town, the murals grace the East-facing wall of Manteca Bedquarters located at the corner of W. Yosemite Ave and S. Main St, Manteca, CA.


The Mural Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony

Distinguished guests and over 500 people, including many veterans and families of the fallen, were in attendance for the May 20th, mural unveiling and dedication. Speakers delivered moving speeches, including some very emotional ones from Vietnam War veterans.

Over 500 gathered for the Welcome Home Warriors mural unveiling and dedication ceremony. Photo by LTLM.
Over 500 gathered for the Welcome Home Warriors mural unveiling and dedication ceremony.
Photo by LTLM

“We deeply respect you and thank you for your service. As an artist, this is the best way to show that.” Echo Westover


Video Slideshow of  Welcome Home Warriors Mural Unveiling and Dedication

The video features about 5 minutes of some highlights from the 1.5 hour ceremony. Charleen Carroll, MMS Board President, was a wonderful Master of Ceremonies.


A Special Tribute To The Fallen

 

Linda Shrader painting names and ages on tribute in Welcome Home Warriors Mural. Photo by LTLM
Linda Shrader painting names and ages on tribute in Welcome Home Warriors Mural. Photo by LTLM

A portrayal of the Vietnam Memorial Wall with tribute to the 17 fallen men from Manteca and the surrounding communities, is one of the main elements in, and inspiration for the mural. Each man’s name and age is listed, even though ages are not included on the official memorial wall. MMS made this request so that the general public might be more aware of just how young most of these men were when they served their country and paid the ultimate price.

“This is extremely important to me personally. My husband and my brother were together in Vietnam,” recalls Charleen Carroll, MMS Board President. “There were so many young men from here that served, and 17 that passed away. This is a chance to honor them and their service to their country.” Carroll’s brother, 18 year-old Brock Elliot, was the first serviceman from Manteca to give his life.


Help Is Available to Veterans Still Battling…

The Vietnam Veterans went to Washington D.C. and asked for help, and they got it. There are Vet Centers all over the United States.

“Please go. Go right away,” encourages Cruz. “They will welcome you with open arms and I guarantee they will help you. They will help your spouse and immediate family understand why you are the way you are.”

For more information or to locate your nearest Vet Center visit https://www.vetcenter.va.gov


An Original Work

Welcome Home Warriors Mural is an original work commissioned and owned by the Manteca Mural Society, Manteca CA.

Marking the community’s 30th mural adding to the diverse visual narrative of their rich history, more about Manteca murals, visit www.mantecamurals.com.

 

Artists Team-Up Painting Venus De Fido Dome

Artists Team Up Painting Venus De Fido Dome In Palm Desert, CA

As construction on a new 5-star spa for pets and their people nears completion, a team of artists are busy at work on the Venus De Fido dome in the interior of the beautiful Spa. The dome murals are the first of many works of art that will grace it’s ceilings, walls, and niches.

Progress on Venus De Fido Dome
Artists L to R- Linda Shrader, Bruce Hamilton, Cory Hamilton, Echo Westover
Venus De Fido Rendering
Venus De Fido Rendering

The dome is 20′ in diameter, with 8 sections separated by faux-painted marble columns created by Cory Hamilton, of Hamilton Builders. Hamilton had the concept of bringing together a team of local artists/muralists, coordinating with each other, yet each individually painting a section of the dome.

The first two panels were designed and painted by Cory Hamilton and Bruce Hamilton respectively. Larger Than Life Murals artists Echo Westover and Linda Shrader are the two most recent artists to complete their sections of the dome.


Goddess Artemis and Her Hunting Dog By Echo Westover
Finished Goddess Artemis, Painted by Echo Westover
Finished Goddess Artemis, designed and painted by Echo Westover, Larger Than Life Murals

Echo drew her inspiration from Artemis, the Goddess of Hunt and the Moon. “She is usually pictured with a hunting dog, so I thought it was rather fitting for the Venus De Fido dome mural,” explains Echo. “My dog Clever, which is a German Short Haired Pointer, serves nicely as her loyal hunting dog.”


All Dogs Go To Heaven by Linda Shrader
L-VDF-Dome-Panel-Finished-w
All Dogs Go To Heaven designed and painted by Linda Shrader, Larger Than Life Murals

The reference for the angel in Shrader’s All Dogs Go To Heaven, was the painting An Angel and a Devil Fighting for the Soul of a Child by Giacinto Gimignani. Cassie, a three-legged rescue dog owned by Lindi Biggi, President of Loving All Animals, is represented in this mural as the angel dog.

“I really do believe all dogs go to heaven,” comments Shrader, “I was thrilled when my design was accepted and I was able to visually illustrate this belief in my contribution to the Venus De Fido dome.”

To see more visit our Larger Than Life Murals Gallery.

Discover Our Desert Mural-In-A-Day Time-Lapse Video

“Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day Time-Lapse Video

What happens when you give 20+ elementary school students paint, brushes, and ask them to paint a 37 foot mural in one day? We were excited to get out our cameras and record a Mural-In-A-Day time-lapse video. Watch and see!

This 37′ X 8′ mural was designed and painted by the Onaga Elementary School G.A.T.E. Students and Larger Than Life Murals (Linda Shrader and Echo Westover).

G.A.T.E. Students painting "Discover Our Desert" Mural-In-A-Day, Onaga Elementary School, Yucca Valley, CA Photo by BJ Parsons
G.A.T.E. Students painting “Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day, Onaga Elementary School, Yucca Valley, CA
Photo by BJ Parsons

“The truth, and I believe the key to our success, is that we had faith in the students. We knew with some guidance, they could do this!”

So we invested a little of our time, shared some information, and encouraged the students to give their very best in all aspects of the project.

  1. Safety first.
  2. Respect all persons and property (including NO paint spills).
  3. Take pride in your work and give your very best painting effort.

And of course, enjoy!

And they did.

And even though we didn’t completely finish in one day, we considered this a huge success. We are very pleased with what we did accomplish and the kids were safe, and very neat about their work.

As the day progressed, some parents, teachers, even the principal couldn’t resist the urge to grab a brush and join in.

Here are some wonderful photos taken by the Office Tech, more fondly known as the ‘Heartbeat Of The School’, Barb Parsons.

From design to completion, this mural project is a true collaboration. The students choose the plants and animals to be included in the mural through class voting. We then selected the images using either our own photographs, paying for licenses to use a stock photos, or obtained written permission from the copyright owner. Then the students voted again on which plants and animals to feature. The we brought a design concept for them to approve before proceeding to the final, hand-painted 6-foot scaled mural on wood.

There Are 16 Native Plants and Animals In The Mural Identified On The Legend KEY.

Conceived by Onaga teacher and G.A.T.E. ONES Site Liaison, Mrs. Heather Possehl, the fun and educational mural depicts native plants and animals from the Morongo Basin, and is the first part of a project to create an inviting multi-purpose outdoor learning area for all Onaga students, complete with landscaping and benches.

If You Would Like To Contribute

Your skills, talents, labor, or financial support to the Onaga Outdoor Learning Area, please contact:

Mrs. Heather Possehl

email: Heather_Possehl@morongo.k12.ca.us


Read “Discover Our Desert” Mural-In-A-Day Here

Click here to view more Larger Than Life Murals videos

Most Recent Murals- Oct. 2014

Most Recent Murals

As of Oct. 2014. For the most current information visit www.largerthanlifemurals.com

Our Most Recent Murals Were at Yucca Family Medical Care- With Three Additional Interior Office Murals Featuring Hi-Desert Wildlife.

Red Tail Hawk Mural, 18′ hallway, Acrylic
Red Tail Hawk Mural 2014
Red Tail Hawk Mural 2014

 

Interior Hawk Mural at Yucca Family Medical Care, 18' hallway, Acrylic
Interior Hawk Mural at Yucca Family Medical Care, 18′ hallway, Acrylic
 Tortoise Mural, Acrylic
Desert Tortoise, Yucca Family Medical Care 2014
Desert Tortoise, Yucca Family Medical Care 2014
Desert Tortoise Progress
Desert Tortoise Progress
"Scorpion" Yucca Family Medical Care 2014
“Scorpion” Yucca Family Medical Care 2014

Most Recent Murals – May 2014

Most Recent Murals

May 2014. For the most current information visit www.largerthanlifemurals.com

Our Most Recent Murals Were at Yucca Family Medical Care.

1. Desert Sky- painted in a main hallway.

Desert Sky Mural 2014
Desert Sky Mural 2014

 

2. The Wildlife Mural, wraps around 4 walls of the children’s patient room. 

Wall #1- The Roadrunner

Wildlife Mural, Roadrunner
Wildlife Mural, Roadrunner

Wall #2- The Coyote

The coyote in the wildlife panoramic mural.
The coyote in the wildlife panoramic mural. He’s over 5′ tall.

Wall#3- Mountains

Wall #4- The Cottontail

Wildlife Mural, Cottontail
Wildlife Mural, Cottontail

3. The Hummingbird Mural- for the women’s health patient room.

Larger Than Life Murals- Hummingbird Mural.
Larger Than Life Murals- Hummingbird Mural.
Close-up of the Hummingbird Mural
Close-up of the Hummingbird Mural
Echo painting the flowers on the Hummingbird Mural.
Echo painting the flowers on the Hummingbird Mural.

4. The Bighorn Sheep Mural

The Bighorn Sheep Mural.
The Bighorn Sheep Mural.
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up
Bighorn Sheep mural close-up

 

Larger Than Life Murals – 2014 Open Studio Art Tours

Larger Than Life Murals is proud to announce their new studio will be open both weekends of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council Open Studio Art Tours,  Oct. 25-26 and Nov. 1-2, 2014. Location and hours information soon forthcoming.

In addition to murals, Linda Shrader and Echo Westover will be exhibiting fine art oil and acrylic paintings, graphite drawings, photography, and sculptural pottery.

art tours dates

“This is a first for us, and we’re very excited,” says Linda Shrader, artist/muralist, and co-owner of Larger Than Life Murals.

Linda recently returned to the high desert, after living in Riverside for the past 5 years, and bought another home in Yucca Valley. “It’s good to be back in the Morongo Basin, we’ve been busy in our new studio and we’re very excited about finally being able to participate in the MBCAC Open Studio Art Tours this fall. Our new studio has a 16′ ceiling, so we can showcase some murals in studio.”

A life-long artist, Shrader has been painting murals over 12 years, and started Larger Than Life Murals in 2007. She and her co-owner and daughter, Echo Westover, have painted several murals in the Morongo Basin, including the Patriotic Mural on the Glen Realty building in Yucca Valley, and two murals in Joshua Tree, the Respect/Protect Tortoise Mural on the Joshua Tree Laundry building and Welcome to Joshua Tree on the Natural Sisters Cafe building.

Larger Than Life Murals "Respect, Protect" Tortoise Mural,
Larger Than Life Murals, Respect-Protect Mural, Joshua Tree, CA 2009
After 9-11, Larger Than Life Murals we commissioned by George Gibbs, to paint this Patriotic Mural on the Glen Realty, Yucca Valley, CA
This 24′ x 9.5′ mural was the first after starting Larger Than Life Murals, commissioned by George Gibbs,  Glen Realty, Yucca Valley, CA
Welcome to Joshua Tree Mural Ribbon Cutting
Welcome to Joshua Tree Mural Ribbon Cutting

In 2001, Linda served on the first Board of Directors for the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. One of the board’s early visions was to create an Open Studio Art Tour. They did, and with the efforts of successive boards, many volunteers, and support of the patrons, the Hwy. 62 Open Studio Art Tours has become a big success here in the Morongo Basin,  and continues to grow each year. Read more on www.mbcac.org

Mecca Roundabout, Monument Mural 2013

The Mecca Roundabout Mural

Mecca Round About
Mecca Round About

Larger Than Life Murals recently painted a small mural on the newly constructed monument wall in the middle of the Mecca Roundabout traffic circle at 4th Street and Hammond Rd.

The mural was commissioned by the Riverside County Transportation Dept. and made possible by federal and local grants.

Because we were literally in the middle of traffic, which included many agricultural trucks and semi’s, safety was of the utmost concern, as well as getting done and out of there as soon as possible. But we always enjoy painting, and I guess it looked like so much fun that Senior Inspector Alec Yzaguirre just had to grab a brush and lend a hand.

For more information, see the Riverside County Transportation Dept. Project Overview.