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Atascadero artist wants you to help her paint a new mural downtown

The mural Atascadero artist Heather Millenaar will paint on the old Founder’s Community Bank building on El Camino Real.
The mural Atascadero artist Heather Millenaar will paint on the old Founder’s Community Bank building on El Camino Real.

An Atascadero artist is enlisting locals to help her create a new mural celebrating the city’s heritage.

Heather Millenaar, a painter who shows her work at downtown gallery ärt/, is one of two area artists commissioned to paint murals on two El Camino Real buildings: the old Founders Community Bank and the vacant gas station at the Traffic Way intersection.

Millenaar’s mural will cover 59 feet of the bank building, now used by Patterson Realty and developer Mike Zappas, who’s developing retail, residential and office space on the La Plaza property a few lots down.

On Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can come help Millenaar paint her mural, which will depict Atascadero’s rolling hills, city landmarks and the “tent city” that housed early residents, along with black-and-white pictures of women and E.G. and Mabel Lewis.

“That whole history, and knowing women played a big part in developing this area, I was like, ‘That’s awesome,’” Millenaar said.

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Atascadero artist Heather Millenaar poses in front of the old Founder’s Community Bank building on El Camino Real, where she’ll be painting a mural depicting the history of the city. Dustin Queen

Zappas — who owns the buildings along with a string of other El Camino Real properties from Malibu Brew Coffee to the gas station — selected Millenaar and a Bulgarian artist to paint the murals, pledging $15,000 for the projects.

He wants the murals to reflect Atascadero’s history and place in the women’s rights movement. The city’s founder, E.G. Lewis, and his wife, Mabel, were known for their progressive views on women’s suffrage — Lewis also published national women’s newspapers and magazines.

“I always thought it was such a shame that we had this history that was being forgotten,” Zappas said.

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The mural Atascadero artist Heather Millenaar will paint on the old Founder’s Community Bank building on El Camino Real. Heather Millenaar

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseyholden27

Local artist and filmmaker Ben Froncowiak is painting a mural in Shell Beach that he hopes will help raise awareness for transgender rights. The mural was partially completed during filming.

Mural painting session

What: Help Atascadero artist Heather Millenaar paint a mural on the old Founder’s Community Bank Building. Bru Coffeehouse will also serve up free coffee to painters.

When: Sunday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Old Founder’s Community Bank, 6100 El Camino Real

For more information: Visit Millenaar’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ArtsyCamera.

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