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Santa Barbara Airport to Unveil Youth Art Mural

The 80-foot 'Postcards of Travel' was a project of the Santa Barbara Arts Alliance

Local youths have created an impressive 80-foot mural for the Santa Barbara Airport to welcome visitors and give the airline terminal area a friendlier atmosphere during building construction.

The mural, titled “Postcards of Travel,” will be unveiled in a special ceremony with Mayor Helene Schneider at 10 a.m. Monday, July 19 at the terminal.

The event will kick off the new Art-In-Public-Places Program that was developed for the new airline terminal that is under construction and expected to be completed early next year.

The airport-sponsored mural was a project of the Santa Barbara Arts Alliance, a special program of Neighborhood & Outreach Services of the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department. Local and underserved youths were recruited by NOS staff to participate in the project on a volunteer basis. Participants were involved from the early stages of project conceptualization, design and final mural painting. Photographic images and tours of the airport were provided to the participants for inspiration.

Youth participants volunteered over a three-month period to work on the project under the direction of Carlos Cuellar, a local artist and muralist. Cuellar provided the youths, who had no previous art training, with two initial weeks of art instruction, including an overview of the importance of having art in public places.

In addition to the hands-on art instruction, many of the student artists decided to join the Parks & Recreation Department Job Apprenticeship Program, which provides paid on-the-job training in the summer.

Schneider will speak about the importance of the Santa Barbara Arts Alliance at Monday’s ceremony, as will Cuellar, Airport Director Karen Ramsdell and a few of the 26 student artists who contributed to the creation of the mural.

— Terri Gibson is the marketing and communications manager for the Santa Barbara Airport.

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