Local artists portray Concord families throughout history

Local artists portray Concord families throughout history

Local artists portray Concord families throughout history
Renaye Johnson highlighted the Concord Pavilion, local hills and downtown’s aRt Cottage on her latest Concord utility box mural with Thea Jue. (Lisa Fulmer photo)

Lisa FulmerCONCORD, CA — Renaye Johnson and Thea Jue have teamed up a second time to paint a utility box in downtown Concord.

For Concord Art Association’s first public art project with the city in 2019, they painted a box with the Music & Market theme at the corner of Grant and Salvio streets. Sponsored by the Concord Historical Society, this time they focused on family within the theme of “Celebrate Concord.”

Each side of the box tells a different family story throughout time. Jue began with the Chupcan tribe of Bay Miwok Indians, who were here more than 300 years ago.

“I enjoyed doing the research to learn more about the local area’s tribes and how they lived,” she says. “I made sure to get the right shapes for their grass huts, and I painted their actual basket designs. These people were primarily hunters and gatherers, rather than farmers, so you’ll see fish and acorns in their baskets.”

Historical references

Jue’s second panel depicts the home of Concord’s founder, Don Salvio Pacheco, which was built in the 1840s and still stands downtown at 1870 Adobe St.

“I used an old black and white photo for reference,” she notes. “I learned there was a large chicken farming industry here at that time, so I painted the children with chickens in the yard.”

Moving forward through time, Johnson featured a small farmhouse from the early 1900s that was once surrounded by fruit orchards.

Thea Jue included Don Salvio Pacheco’s adobe and images from the Chupcan tribe on her second Concord utility box art project.

“Seasonal workers and their families lived here during harvest time. Eventually this house became the aRt Cottage, our favorite little art gallery in downtown Concord,” she says.

“For the present-day panel of our utility box, I wanted to highlight the Concord Pavilion, nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo, where so many families here have enjoyed concerts, community events and even high school graduations for the last several decades.”

For their utility box at the corner of Concord Boulevard and Galindo Street, the artists decided to add a crisscross design along all four corners “to show that all of our families are stitched together through history,” Jue says.

“We’re so honored and grateful to be part of Concord’s growing landscape of public art,” Johnson adds.

Visit ConcordArtAssociation.com to learn more about the organization, its membership benefits and community outreach programs.

Lisa Fulmer
Lisa Fulmer

Lisa Fulmer is a mixed media artist, Concord Art Association board member and founder of MadeinConcord.com. She also consults with local artists on self-promotion and personal branding.