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A few days ago I spent some time with the artist that will be painting four large murals on the walls below the I-5 bridge outside of Old Town.

To be called the Gateway Mural, the paintings will begin on the corner of Rosecrans and Jefferson streets. I was told by the artist (who requested anonymity) that Urban Corps of San Diego had initiated the project to make the area look nicer.

Last week, the walls were painted white and the artist — atop a boom lift — began drawing the first of the four murals. This first mural will depict five faces (male and female) representing each branch of military service: Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

The first mural wall is 27 feet high and 39 feet wide. Each face will be about ten feet in diameter. I was shown a pencil rendering of the mural laid out on a grid, and with the help of this grid I could already easily recognize the face, hat, and uniform being drawn on the wall.

I was also shown an 8.5” x 11” color version of the finished mural. The American flag will be painted behind the faces. The artist had planned to start painting (with the help of one assistant) on July 8. He estimated the first mural will take approximately two months to complete. The other three murals will depict Old Town, the San Diego River, and Caltrans.

The artist said he has experience painting large outdoor installations and that his work can be seen at the entrance to the Memorial Academy middle school on 28th Street and on the Spring Valley Library building.

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