By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
Another mural has quietly appeared in Crestline. The Young Adult Mountain Ministries (YAMM), a group of young adults from many of the mountain churches, has joined together to help beautify the community.
They have chosen a colorful design of the Strawberry Peak fire lookout tower, overlooking the valley and offering protection to the community. This reminds them of God overlooking their lives and offering them protection from the negative parts of life.
The colorful mural – with bright oranges, pinks, purples, blues and more – is on the west side of Woody’s Mercantile store at the corner of Thousand Pines Road and Lake Drive. YAMM has been planning and designing this mural for several months through their Zoom meetings and the brainstorming of the design team of John Harford, Josh Mainez, Nathan Mainez, Grayson Smith, Moriah Conedy and Sarah Shumate, who were excited to be able to finally get together to paint this mural.
There almost was a big hitch when it was realized how expensive the paint would be. Crestline’s Lake Drive Ace Hardware store donated five gallons of primer paint and they painted the wall. Shumate went to a big box store and bought one gallon of a blue “oops,” the wrong shade of a custom color. That was still expensive and, since they would also need painting tools and supplies, she was worried when she realized they hadn’t raised enough money through donations from family and YAMM members for painting the mural.
Shumate went to a smaller San Bernardino paint store owned by Oliver Peter and began looking at their “oops” cans of paint. Peter asked to see the plan for the mural and, after seeing the mountain scene and hearing about its inspiration, he became excited about the mural. He then donated all the colors they needed from his pile of wrongly mixed paints. YAMM then insisted, due to his generosity, that they buy all their paint brushes and rollers from him. When they checked out, he cut the price in half, as another donation to their project since it was divinely inspired. Peter is an active member of the graffiti removal team in San Bernardino.
The painting on the mural project began on Friday, July 16 with 10 of the older teens painting the orange background and then outlining the mural design on the wall. They set up an easy-up in the backyard of Top Knot Beauty Salon, next to the wall they are painting on Woody’s Mercantile. The easy-up gave them a place to stay out of the direct sun during the heat of the day.
On Saturday morning, they began the painting of the big features of the mural – the sun, the mountains and the roads – by about seven painters. They added the unique lines in the mountains, giving it almost a sense of motion. On Sunday afternoon after church, the painters added the numerous finer features, including the Strawberry Peak lookout tower, the trees, the flying bird and the final details of the mural.
After they finished the mural, the members of YAMM had a small barbecue in the backyard to celebrate the mural project completion and their gratefulness for the generosity of the community and gave a special prayer to those who made it all possible. The project’s goal of bringing together young adults for the sake of the gospel through creating an inspiring work of art that beautifies the community was completely met.
The mural was inspired by Psalm 61:3, which describes how God is a strong tower and a refuge when life is overwhelming. The Strawberry Peak lookout tower felt like a key symbol for those who brainstormed the design. It was also inspired by other scriptures such as Proverbs 3:5-6, with the idea that God will direct their paths in a positive way.
YAMM, which was formed a year and a half ago during the pandemic, seeks to bring together young adults on the mountain who seek to connect with God and each other. This was but one of many events and projects that YAMM is involved with this summer. Their meetings are every Thursday at 7:30 at Lake Gregory Community Church. They welcome any young adults on the mountain who seek to grow relationally and spiritually.