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Mural in downtown Arroyo Grande celebrates the city's past

Colleen Mitchell-Veyna of Visalia was chosen by an Arroyo Grande committee to paint the mural on the east side of the former JJ's Market building on East Branch Street.
Colleen Mitchell-Veyna of Visalia was chosen by an Arroyo Grande committee to paint the mural on the east side of the former JJ's Market building on East Branch Street. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Arroyo Grande now has its first public art. Officials unveiled the artwork — a large mural depicting scenes of life in the early to mid-1900s — during a ceremony Friday.

Visalia resident Colleen Mitchell-Veyna was selected to paint the mural on the east side of the former JJ’s Market building at 303 E. Branch St. in the Arroyo Grande Village. 

Mitchell-Veyna started work in May, first by outlining the larger pieces of the mural, including a train, a farmer with horses pulling a plow, and other farmers surrounded by vegetables, wine grapes and fields.

The Arroyo Grande Public Art committee as well as building owner Nick Tompkins of NKT Commercial sought proposals that would celebrate the city’s history and agricultural roots. Tompkins and a public art subcommittee chose Mitchell-Veyna from among four proposals. Tompkins provided $30,000 to pay for the project.

Public art guidelines were approved by the Arroyo Grande City Council in 2002 and then updated in 2011.

Friday’s ceremony was attended by representatives of the South County Historical Society and 

Arroyo Grande & Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce, business owners, and Arroyo Grande council members and staff.

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