Kayak mural adorns Crestline 7-Eleven wall

Nov 26, 2020 | Crestline

Staff Writer

The last two months in Crestline have seen three large murals created to brighten up the community and promote enjoying the outdoor activities these mountains offer. The Crestline-Lake Gregory Chamber of Commerce is creating these large murals as part of a seven-mural project to encourage tourism; when folks arrive, the murals will give them ideas of activities to engage in during their time in the area.

The newest mural is also the largest so far. It is 58 feet long and 18 feet tall, located on the retaining wall next to the 7-Eleven in Crestline, diagonally across from Lake Gregory. It is a brightly colored mural of reds, oranges and greens with a lake of beautiful blues.

The picture depicts kayakers enjoying the wonderfully smooth and calm waters of Lake Gregory. Lake Gregory has been rated by many Southern California kayakers as one of the most enjoyable mountain lakes to kayak on, since there are no motor craft to create wakes or oil slicks to interfere with pure kayaking enjoyment. And since, up to now, Lake Gregory has been almost undiscovered, a pair of kayakers these days can often have the whole lake to enjoy all by themselves, as shown in the mural.

“This is the last of the first three of the seven murals the chamber is sponsoring,” said chamber President Louis Boehle. “We will suspend the painting aspect of the mural project until the spring, when the weather turns warmer.”

The next four murals are not yet fully designed, but the topics have now been chosen and most of the locations have been secured. However, there is also some talk by local merchants who want to add murals of their own choosing to their own buildings and those ideas are being encouraged.

“We are proud of all of our murals, especially this one which shows diversity in our residents and that all are welcome in our community,” Boehle said, adding, “The plan is to emphasize the many outdoor activities that Crestline and the surrounding mountain area offer. I am excited by this project.”

Wes Abarca has been the artist of the murals painted by the Chamber these past two months. This newest one included designing the mural around the realities of its location at 7-Eleven, yet included the necessity of moving two boxes of propane tanks and the ice machine by a fork lift supplied by Goodwin’s Market, located just across the street. This enabled the lift that was needed to paint up to the top of the wall to be maneuvered next to the wall.

“We at Genesis Murals Company have been so busy designing and painting the three murals these past two months, rushing to beat the winter weather,” said Abarca. “I am excited they are finished before the holidays, so all our visitors will get to see them.”

Abarca has painted other walls in Crestline, including the front wall of the Rim Bowling Center and the “Nightmare before Christmas” mural on the handball courts at the Lake Gregory Education and Community Center. His Genesis Mural Company was also responsible for the three new murals at Rim High School.

When spring arrives, Abarca will again begin painting for the Crestline chamber but, before then, Abarca has been contacted by several homeowners for inside murals to complete this winter.

“I can paint many styles and designs,” said Abarca. The chamber murals are in the classic National Parks poster style.



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