Click photo to enlarge
William Northcutt's interconnectedness-themed mural is taking shape at Mountain Community Resources. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)

FELTON -- As soon as next month, a roughly 6-foot-tall mural, featuring a bucolic scene of families and community workers gathered at Felton Covered Bridge Park, will grace the front of the Mountain Community Resources building on Highway 9.

A mural was on the organization's wish list for years, said its director Jennifer Anderson-Ochoa. A mural painted at Don Quixote's in downtown Felton caught their attention one day over the fall, and they tracked down the artist, Will Northrup.

Meetings to discuss which concepts to incorporate into the painting soon followed, and that brainstorming resulted in the work-in-progress, now more than halfway complete. Northrup has been working away for about a month, with last Thursday the final day before a holiday break. Work resumes 2:30-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays starting Jan. 7. Anderson-Ochoa estimated the cost at $1,300 to $1,500.

The image is being painted on three panels, each 4 feet tall by 8 feet wide. Standing sentry on the left is an ancient redwood trunk, towering majestically above smaller trees tipped with bright-green leaves. The image also shows a skateboarder and bicyclist, and even a little dog owned by a Mountain Community Resources staff member.

Many of those pictured at the park are based on real individuals, though the faces are essentially prototypes. But one person can easily be identified: Mary Hammer, who founded the organization 30 years ago. Her son, Eric Hammer, donated materials and labor, and will mount the mural on the front of the building once it's complete, Anderson-Ochoa said.


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Painting directly on the surface of that facade is impractical, since it's covered top to bottom with small, white tiles. And creating the mural on panels, "it's something where, if we moved at some point, we could take it with us," she added.

Mountain Community Resources provides services to families in the San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley, including housing, counseling and educational programs, translation, youth advocacy and parent-education courses.

Founded in response to the deadly 1982 mudslides, the organization also offers emergency response training courses and staffs the San Lorenzo Valley Emergency Network.

For a full list of services, go to http://communitybridges.org/mountaincommunity.htm.

Follow Sentinel reporter Kimberly White on Twitter at Twitter.com/kwhite95066

AT A GLANCE

Mural project


WHAT: Three-panel mural featuring scenes and images of people in the San Lorenzo Valley painted by local artist Will Northrup.
HELP NEEDED: Work for 2012 wrapped up Thursday afternoon but volunteers are needed to help when painting resumes next month.
LOCATION: 6134 Highway 9, Felton. (Across the street from Rite Aid.)
INFORMATION: 335-6603