Atascadero artist brightens up town with colorful, historical mural
About 100 people turned out on Sunday to help artist Heather Millenaar paint a mural on the side of the old Founders Community Bank Building in Atascadero.
The mural, which depicts 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, is one of two being commissioned by developer Mike Zappas. He owns the building along with a string of other El Camino Real properties from Malibu Brew Coffee to the old gas station at at Traffic Way.
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.
“They were big supporters of women, so they coined the area “The Women’s Republic,” Millenaar said. “And that’s what this whole mural is based on. And I really wanted to bring the community together to take pride and ownership this public art.”