Hayward Shows Off Murals With Help from Fraternity

The Hayward Animal Shelter, the newest mural, is
expected to be completed in early March.

The Hayward Arts Council is running an exhibit on the rich history of murals in the city, with the help of volunteers from CSU East Bay fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon.

The show, called the Mural Hayward Show, has been running from Jan. 17 to Feb. 23. Councilman Greg Jones started the project in 2009 using redevelopment funds as a measure against graffiti; the city funds the artwork, and the artist is responsible for taking care of the mural.

“I think the murals are a wonderful way to dress up the city and express its personality,” Markos said. “The city of Hayward, which has had a long battle with graffiti, says they do help to control it.”

The murals, often painted with bright colors, depict a bygone era of Hayward’s history. The newly finished mural on A Street features black jazz singers juxtaposed by imagery of buildings depicting Russell City, a shoreline community that was annexed by Hayward in 1964.

“I knew many people are fans of the murals, so I thought we might be able to do an exhibit on the muralists,” Markos said. “I contacted Jean Bidwell, one of our muralist members, and she was so enthusiastic that I contacted Stacey Bristow, who directs the mural project for the City of Hayward. She approved, so I asked all the muralists to take part, and the show was on its way.”

Depicted in the art show are the works of Jean Bidwell, Suzanne Gayle, Ben Goulart, Andrew Kong Knight, Linda Longinotti, Christine Pacheco and Josh Powell. Powell is currently working on a mural at the Hayward Animal Shelter, which he estimates should be completed by early March.

CSUEB, through the Hayward Promise Neighborhood project, is working with the Hayward Arts Council to build murals in the Jackson Triangle. Mural locations are based upon where there has been excessive graffiti and community input. Since the end of redevelopment funding in 2012, the murals have been funded by grants and private donations.

“Hayward, like all cities, is strapped for funds, and has made it clear that groups like ours must generate more of their own support,” said Markos.

The TV series “American Artist Road Trip” featured Hayward and its murals as a city that is currently going through an art renaissance. In 2011, the city of Hayward won the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence for “outstanding efforts and innovative solutions to improve the quality of life in the community.”

Markos said members of the fraternity TKE dropped by the Cinema Place Gallery on B Street and offered their services. Around that time, Markos had been looking for volunteers to sit the upcoming show and was thrilled to hear that the fraternity members wanted to curate the exhibit.

One of the members who visited the gallery was Roberto Serrano, referred to affectionately by his fellow fraternity brothers as “Tito.” Serrano has been a member of TKE at CSU East Bay since he was a freshman.

He said he has been trying to reach out and get students involved doing something positive in the community. Serrano could not be reached for further comments.

Quinton Wilson, a member of the fraternity, volunteered at the art gallery. He is a freshman living in the dorms, who joined TKE because he wanted to be involved on campus. He did his first shift last Friday, after his friend introduced him to the gallery.

Wilson said the day had been slow, but he didn’t mind doing volunteer shifts at the gallery. He sees murals and graffiti, alike, as a form of art.

“Some of graffiti isn’t as great as the others. The murals are cool, graffiti is cool, a lot of people would probably consider murals as more art, but I consider graffiti art,” Wilson said.