Karen McComb, an Arbor Gallery artist, painted the spectacular mural under Highway 99 at V Street.
Governor Newsom’s Clean California initiative awarded Caltrans $312 million for 126 beautifications projects including 10 projects in District 10, which includes Merced County.
This Merced Gateway & Mural project includes the design and installation of gateway monuments and murals by local artists on State Routes 99, 59 and 140 in Merced County. Murals are painted at Highway 99 undercrossings at: R Street, O Street, M Street, Canal Street, MLK Jr. Way, G Street, Yosemite Parkway.
McComb knew the mural would be challenging but she was up for the task. All of the murals are meant to foster
cultural connections and civic pride. She came up with her design and it was approved by the Merced County
Arts Council, Merced City Council and Caltrans.
McComb and her daughter, Ashleigh Thrasher, took 20 days to paint the mural. They ran into some problems with the lift but were able to resolve them. All of the murals are sealed to prevent damage from graffiti. The mural should last as long as Highway 99.
On Aug. 18, McComb will lead Arbor Gallery’s paint night, Art & Spirits, painting Spirit of the Wild. Art & Spirits is held on the third Friday of every month and is only $35. To reserve a spot, please call Cyndi at (209) 388-1090. All proceeds from this event are donated to the Merced Arts Council and support art in Merced.
Arbor Gallery is located inside the Multicultural Arts Center on Main Street in downtown Merced. It is a co- op fine art gallery established by a group of local artists over 40 years ago.
Current members are: Jackie Anderson, Julia Boothe, Wendy Bright, Laura Eckman, Leslie Frazier, John Harrell, Tonia Hemme, Carole Kamerer, Donna Wayman-Maurer, Pope Lawrence, Karen McComb, Stephanie McLeod, Ethel Nelson, Lori Nelson, Eileen Partlow, Susan Regert, Rose Tripp, Penny Waha and Denice Woyski.
The gallery is open to the public and there is no cost for admission. All of the artwork on display is for sale or rent. We offer paintings done in oil, acrylic, alcohol ink, pastel and watercolor, photography, fabric art, turned exotic wood, pottery, fine jewelry, candles, original art cards and prints and glass art.
Every three months new artwork is hung in the gallery and a new theme begins in the themed hallway. New artwork arrived Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, and the themed hallway is full of flowers.
Paintings by Arbor Gallery artists are also displayed at Toni’s Café, Playhouse Merced, and Merced Golf & Country Club.