June 03--STOCKTON -- What otherwise would have been a drab downtown construction site for the next two years instead is being transformed into a colorful mural with quirky characters and a positive message for Stockton's citizens.
The mural, in its final stages of creation, adorns the Weber Avenue site where ground was broken last week for a new courthouse scheduled to open in 2016.
Turner Construction and the Downtown Stockton Alliance joined forces to find a way to dress up the construction site, and members of a local arts group called Skillhouse Collective are executing their own design. A team of about five artists, armed with spray paint and brushes, began work Friday and is nearing completion of the project.
"We're all originally from Stockton," 34-year-old Alex Suelto said. "It's a great opportunity to put some art in the community. The city can use the color. Art might not solve problems, but it might help the morale."
In addition to the characters on the mural, there also are these messages: "Walk the street with us into history," and "Right choices."
"We are different colors under the same spectrum, and we're making positive changes," said 21-year-old Malik Girley, who, like Suelto, is a Stockton native attending the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. "We're bringing a positive vibe to Stockton. Throwing creativity out there is a huge step."
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