WATSONVILLE—Local artist Paul de Worken of Monterey Bay Murals began his day early on Monday morning, setting up buckets of paint, brushes and other supplies for the fourth annual Community Mural Paint Day.

This year, the event was held at Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance (PVPSA), located on the corner of East Lake Avenue and Madison Street. De Worken said that he had been talking with staff at the organization for a while about working together.

“They do such great work; it just made a lot of sense to team up,” De Worken said.

Community Mural Paint Day is a joint effort in itself—it is organized by Monterey Bay Murals and the UC Santa Cruz Alternative Spring Break program.

Pat McVeigh of UCSC’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute was on hand at PVPSA on Monday, awaiting the rest of the university’s participants who were on their way to the event.

“This is such a beautiful way to bring the community together,” McVeigh said. “It’s a great team-building exercise for these kids.”


ABOVE: Paul De Worken (left) gives instructions to participants of Community Mural Paint Day, held on Monday at Pajaro Valley Prevention and Students Assistance. (Johanna Miller/Pajaronian)

Students from Watsonville High and Pajaro Valley high schools were among some of the first to arrive and begin working on their sections of the mural, which stretched the length of the parking lot of PVPSA.

De Worken said that every year the event becomes more organized. This year, the mural project was divided into sections, with each group being assigned to a specific part.

“People seem to get more excited about it each year, too,” De Worken said. “It just keeps growing.”

The event was scheduled to last all day—or as long as it took for the mural to be completed. Groups of painters were scheduled to show up at different times throughout the day.

“It’s such a positive thing to see people in our community coming together to create art,” De Worken said.

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