Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7553

A MURAL IN TRIBUTE TO MAUDELLE SHIREK

Berkeley, California (Thursday, June 22, 2006) - The City of Berkeley is pleased to announce that the Public Art Selection Panel has chosen Mildred Howard and Daniel Galvez as the artists to create a celebratory mural depicting the life and works of former City Councilmember Maudelle Shirek, one of Berkeley’s eminent proponents of civil rights and social responsibility. Howard is a well-known mixed media and installation artist whose work has been exhibited internationally. Galvez, an accomplished public muralist, has created murals throughout the Bay Area and the United States.

Ms. Shirek has had a long and distinguished career in civil rights. She was the oldest elected official of the State of California and served as a member of the Berkeley City Council for twenty years. The project proposes the use of important architectural details of Old City Hall to represent Ms. Shirek’s relationship with significant individuals in Berkeley’s history. The mural will be located in Old City Hall next to the famous mural by Romare Bearden.

Howard and Galvez envision an image combining collage and photo assemblage with high realism oil painting to integrate Ms. Shirek’s personal and family history, archival photographs, memory, and landscape. Murals, as Galvez so eloquently expresses, are a “means for people to reclaim their environment and express what is important to them, and to focus on the life energies of the community.” This mural, in tribute to Maudelle Shirek’s contributions to the Berkeley community and her commitment to civil rights, will embody that very spirit. 

For more information on this public project, the artists and their works, and the selection process, please see the Civic Arts web page www.ci.berkeley.ca.us or contact Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533.

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