Merced County Times Newspaper
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MLK Jr. image takes shape on new mural


A mural honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, and the powerful message of peaceful protest they shared is currently in the works on the Merced Food Center building at 1150 MLK Jr. Way.

Meanwhile, a pizza fundraiser was held last Friday to raise funds for future murals throughout the city of Merced.

The efforts involve a collaboration with Antonio Salazar of Merced’s Promotions, Sanctuary Pizza of Turlock and Third Hour Collective, a group of local artists committed to sharing the voices of their community.

As a 40-year resident of the city of Merced, Salazar hopes to unify the community through art. “We are all Merced residents that wanted to do something special for our city,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza of Third Hour Collective said the ultimate goal of the project is to bring people together and give attention to surrounding neighborhoods. “We definitely feel like the south side of Merced is typically neglected,” he said. “Showcasing the culture through art is a positive way of showing communities that they belong and are fundamental to the city.”

The mural at the Food Center currently consists of a finished portrait of labor leader Cesar Chavez, completed by Fresno artist Omar Huerta; and a half-completed portrait of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that’s set to be finished on Feb. 21. Eventually, the entire mural will feature a bridge of people — reflecting south Merced communities — uniting the two men together.

The portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be finished live this Sunday, Feb. 21, at the center. The celebration will be held from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., and will feature live music from Dj Lamont, and Merced rapper Willie Felix.

Free food donated from Sam’s Cafe and drinks from Merced Food Center will be given out at the event that will also be hosting a car show. Mayor Matthew Serratto and members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee are scheduled to speak at the event.

Participants are encouraged to wear masks to the event and follow appropriate social distancing rules. For more information, please contact Merced Promotions at 209-455-6800.

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