From the pen of our days in V-town, a old entry from Sweet Home Vallejo……(2009)
This is Charles with a new round of thoughts.
Vallejo has a strong arts tradition. Painters, graphic designers, muralists, etc. Before I moved here, I never knew the wealth of talent the city had art wise, but if you’ve had a chance to actually know them as I’ve had the great fortune of doing, you’ll find out they’re excellent people as well. Now Vallejo used to have an Artists Guild, which no longer exists. However, it hasn’t stopped individuals from producing masterpieces in Vallejo.
Because this city has always encouraged its artists, you see their amazing works in several galleries downtown, exhibited in banks and on the waterfront. The galleries such as Pieced on Earth, McCree-Goudeau, and Pacific Rim showcases local talent and provides them with the platform and support of their creations. On our local cable station, VCAT, Shaaron Fox-Bent presents Arts In Action, a program that promotes these same artists in the city. The director of the art department, Harold Beaulieu has been tireless in bringing up the up and coming artists and the many mural projects seen in certain areas of Vallejo.
One suggestion that I hope is taken into consideration in the future is on a recent PBS News Hour covering the transformation of Philadelphia’s downtown; murals by local artists covered the blight of the area, making it attractive for outside businesses to invest in the city. If you don’t believe me, just google this title up and read the story that follows on the website: “Philadelphia’s ‘Love Letter’ Murals Spark Neighborhood Revival”. Think of what that could do for Vallejo and improve the quality of life downtown if we put our artists, young and old to create what Philadelphia has done. Something to think about.
After living in Southern California most of my life, I’ve been exposed to various forms of art including theatre. In Vallejo, we have the Community Arts Foundation supporting visual, musical, and theatrical talents as well as developing funding for small Vallejo arts groups and special projects. The newly renovated Empress Theatre in the heart of downtown presents classic movies and on occasion, opens its doors for special events for the public. The Vallejo Music Theatre puts on live shows, musicals, opera and programs for the community. A Friday night supper club is one of their most impressive draws including a contest with prizes.
Despite the city’s financial troubles, this is a great city with a ton of creative individuals here. They’re using every means to promote their works while helping each other out, networking. Whether it’s galleries, parks, etc., these artists continue to display their talent throughout the city. It makes me wonder why am I’m trying to open a bookstore here, but maybe one day we’ll have a strong literary community to match.
It’s gonna take a lot of work, though.