The Colusa County Board of Supervisors last week granted permission for the Friends of the Colusa County Library and Colusa Arts Council to paint the Colusa Branch Library with murals and bold colors to honor Winters, whose own home was boldly painted yellow and orange.
“We all know and love and miss Mary Winters, who dedicated her life to Colusa and the wider county,” said Colusa County Library Director Stacey Costello. “If you checked out any books in the past 25 plus years, chances are she processed them. She dedicated at least one day per week to The Bookwork, and we actually had to shift our staff around to cover her job.”
Winters died on Aug. 1, 2020. She moved to Colusa in 1947. She was a member of the Friends of the Colusa County Library, the Colusa County Airport Commission, and served on the Colusa City Council, among her many other activities in the community.
Costello said Friends of the Library have been looking for a way to honor Winters since her death, and felt the best public tribute of Winters’ life and work would be to paint the eight front columns of the stark white Colusa branch library the vivid colors that Winters loved, as well as murals on two sides of the building that are reflective of the county.
The group plans to solicit images and photographs from all the communities in Colusa County, with one selected to be incorporated into a mural, paired with a literary quote about California.
“We just want a really beautiful place,” Costello said.
Local artist Sierra Reading and her partner, Ross Roadruck have been commissioned for the project, which will be funded from memorial donations to the Friends of the Colusa County Library ($1,700) and the Jim and Cynthia White Mural Fund ($800). The Arts Council and the Rotary Club of Colusa have agreed to pay for the art supplies.
Costello said colorful public art planned at the main library would be a wonderful reminder during a pandemic that the library is still here and relevant. More importantly, she said, the art would be an appropriate way to marry all of Winters’ passions.
Reading said she was looking forward to working on the project, which will also include an aerial view of rice fields and row crops.
The art is expected to cover the front entrance to the Colusa Library, the west wall facing the Fire Station, and the back wall.
“The first thought I had when I was reading about this, was ‘it’s about time,’” said Supervisor Merced Corona. “Everywhere else, the libraries I’ve been to are colorful. It might be an attraction for the kids to get their attention. I think it’s a good idea.”
The $2,500 estimated cost of the project will not utilize any taxpayer funds, officials said. Supervisor Denise Carter said she can’t wait to see the finished product, and would like to see more public art in Colusa County.
“It makes you smile,” Carter said. ♣