Byron's rich and varied heritage will soon be chronicled in murals splashed across the historic buildings of downtown, thanks in part to a community fundraiser called Paint the Town, and this Sunday the public is invited to come out in support of the project for an afternoon of music, food and fun at the Wild Idle Park beginning at 1 p.m.
What we are trying to do is to bring Byron back to life partly through doing streetscapes and landscapes and general beautification, and the murals were just one way we wanted to do that, said Chantelle Leighton, chairperson of the mural project.
This is brand new, but it has already taken on a life of its own. We have a lot of people who are very passionate about our town.
A total of six murals are planned for the downtown Main Street area, with the possibility of as many as 17 in total planned for the future, said Leighton.
The first in the series is currently underway by renowned Bay Area artist Bill Weber. Weber's design, estimated at 84-by-19 feet and painted on the side of the Marin Food building, will illustrate three separate scenes of Byron taken from photographs taken circa 1900.
This (Weber painting) will be the largest mural, and we wanted to have someone with a name recognition and reputation like Bill, and we were lucky enough to have him agree to do it, said Leighton.
The smaller ones (murals) have not been decided upon yet. But we already have three local artists on board for some of the other murals and we welcome anyone who's interested in painting a mural to apply.
Final selection of the remaining mural artists will be made by committee, said Leighton, who added that the public is invited to attend and participate in the mural decision-making process.
The June 22 fundraiser is being held in conjunction with the Byron United Methodist Church, St. Anne Catholic Church, the East Contra Costa County Historical Society and the John Marsh Trust, along with a variety of other local businesses and private supporters.
The event will feature a free concert by Jamie Maddox & Friends, the rock group Jungle Rooster, kids' crafts, local vendors, a silent auction and a tri-trip barbecue lunch. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. All proceeds go toward the completion of the mural project.
The Paint the Town fundraiser is part of a larger plan to revitalize and beautify Byron's downtown. Organized under the direction of The Friends of Byron Committee, an offshoot of the Byron Community Library Club, the mural project is just one of the committee's planned efforts to create curbside appeal and a sense of community pride in Bryon.
Byron has a fantastic history that has somehow gotten lost along the way, said Leighton. But we're going to bring it back. We're on a roll with this (project) and we're just going to keep going.
For additional information on the Paint the Town fundraising event or the mural project, contact Chantelle Leighton at 925-354-7044.