The Napa Parks & Recreation and Planning teams oversee the Public Art Fund, which supports the creation of public art around the city, including the development of murals. Recently, they invited applications from muralists and selected one to enhance the site at First and Main Street. In collaboration with the property owner, the City’s public art team contracted with the artist, Paz de la Calzada, who was born in Spain and is now a San Francisco based artist working on site-specific murals.
The location where the mural now stands was originally damaged by an earthquake in 2014. Up until recently, the area was enclosed with bare plywood to safeguard the space while future plans for the location were identified. Through a public/private partnership involving the building owner, economic development and parks and recreation, the team and artist were able to transform the unused site into a beautiful display of art!
There are several funding methods for murals in Napa:
- Public Art Fund: For new non-residential private and public developments valued at $250,000 or more, developers are required to contribute 1% of the project's construction cost to the City's "Public Art Fund." This contribution is mandated by the Public Art Ordinance passed in 2010. The Public Art Fund is then used to select and install public art throughout the city.
- Private Funding: Developers of new projects have the option to forego contributions to the Public Art Fund and instead install on-site public art of equal value to 1% of the construction costs. This alternative is in accordance with the Public Art Ordinance, and the public art must be integrated into the development plan from the outset.
- Public/Private Partnerships: The City collaborates with developers, combining both Public Art Funds and private contributions to bring public art projects to fruition. The new mural on First and Main is an excellent example of such a partnership!
- Nonprofit Initiatives: Nonprofits, such as the Napa Rail Arts District, actively participate in local beautification efforts that involve the creation of murals.
These funding avenues demonstrate the commitment of various stakeholders to enriching the city's aesthetics and cultural landscape through public art. Murals not only enhance the visual appeal of Napa but also contribute to community pride and a sense of place. Learn more about local art and placemaking efforts at https://www.cityofnapa.org/340/Public-Art.