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Community Input was Key in the Next Phase of the Public Health Mural Project
(Placerville, CA) – El Dorado County Public Health and the El Dorado Arts Council are unveiling a newly redesigned mural for downtown Placerville as part of a Healthy Communities project. The original mural design, presented at a Placerville City Council meeting last March, received feedback from community and Council members that they'd like the design to include more local and historical references. The new design, which incorporates recommended changes from the community and Council, includes iconic Placerville landmarks, such as Main Street's Bell Tower and the Placerville Soda Works building, plants native to the area, historical clothing and other features to better reflect Placerville's heritage and charm.
The mural redesign will be presented at the Placerville City Council meeting on July 10. If approved by the City Council, the project will be submitted to Caltrans for final approval. The work on the mural could start as early as fall of 2018 on the underpass wall at Mosquito Road off of Main Street in Placerville.
The mural is part of a Community Health Improvement Plan which focuses on the areas of Active Living, Healthy Eating, Access to Health Care and Behavioral Health. These themes were identified by the community as priorities through a Public Health community needs assessment conducted in 2016. The mural was designed to highlight each of these four focus areas, and to increase awareness of current health issues and approaches to addressing them, according to Olivia Byron-Cooper, Manager with El Dorado County Public Health. "Public Health has set aside money to support these focus-area efforts. A small portion of this money will be used to fund this mural project," said Byron-Cooper.
The mural design and redesign were developed by highly regarded local artist Oran Miller, who also designed and painted the iconic "Snowshoe Thompson" mural that is currently on display in downtown Placerville. Miller's redesign of the Healthy Communities mural blends input he received from the community, City Council members, project staff and youth from the Boys and Girls Club in Placerville.
Public art has a solid footing in the City of Placerville, exemplified by the "Hangtown" and Miller's "Snowshoe Thompson" murals, the Barn Quilt Trail, the metal silhouettes along Highway 50 which were fabricated by students at El Dorado High School and supported by Placerville Rotary, and many other examples within the city limits. Byron-Cooper is hopeful that the new Healthy Communities mural will be met with a warm reception and be woven into the downtown Placerville public art landscape.
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