by Shawn Raymundo  August 14, 2023 3:12PM in EYE ON SJCNews

When Rich Heimann approached Capistrano Trading Post owner Bill Ortega about a year ago, asking to use his building in Downtown San Juan Capistrano for a mural, Ortega agreed.

There was only one caveat though that Ortega had for Heimann, the president of The Alliance for San Juan Art (TASJA).

“I said, ‘yeah, that sounds just like what people have been talking about for 37 years,’ So I said, ‘there is one condition, Rich, that I don’t have to do anything,’” Ortega said to an amused crowd Friday, Aug. 11.

“And he kept his promise, except for this speech,” Ortega joked to the group of residents, dignitaries and members of the local art and business communities who gathered outside his building to unveil the mural by the late Nellie Gail Moulton.

“He kept his promise, they did all the footwork. They did all the going back and forth to the City Council, they raised the money. They did everything,” Ortega said. “And I think it looks good.”

The mural of the painting “Mission Garden” by Moulton, a prominent artist of the 1920s, now adorns the back of the Trading Post for those visiting San Juan’s downtown corridor to view and admire—part of longstanding plans to beautify the area, such as the walkway between the Trading Post and Hennessey’s Tavern.

READ MORE at The Capistrano Dispatch

Friday, August 11 at 2:00 pm

Behind Hennessey's and the Trading Post

Come join us as a vinyl print of the painting "Mission Gardens", by the prominent 1920's artist Nellie Gail Moulton, is unveiled on the parking lot side of the Capistrano Trading Post. The Trading Post is owned by Bill Ortega, who is partnering with TASJA and the Moulton Museum to create this mural. The Moulton Museum provided a complementary license for use of the image.

We look forward to seeing you!

At their meeting on May 24, the Planning Commission in San Juan Capistrano approved TASJA's application for a permit to install a mural in downtown San Juan. The mural will be placed on the back side of the Capistrano Trading Post. It will be printed on vinyl from an image of a painting by Nellie Gail Moulton, a prominent artist of the 1920s. The Trading Post is owned by Bill Ortega who is partnering with TASJA and the Moulton Museum to create this mural. The Moulton Museum is providing a complimentary license to use the image called "Mission Gardens"

The Mural will be about 12' x 15' and placed towards the top of the building so it can be seen across the parking lot and by the restaurants beyond. The mural is expected to be installed by the end of the summer when an unveiling will be scheduled.

The City of San Juan Capistrano has scheduled a hearing about the Capistrano Trading Post mural installation before the Planning Commission.  The hearing will occur at 5:00 PM on May 24, 2023, at 31421 La Matanza Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA. 

I invite you to attend, or phone into the meeting, to speak in favor of this mural installation. It would be the first major public art installation by TASJA and will complement the coming renovation of Arguello Way. This is a very important step in our goal of placing public art in San Juan and I hope you can support it in your own voice. With the Planning Commission's approval, it does not need to go to City Council, so we could then proceed with the project.  

The Planning Commission does not get to judge the artwork, only the location and the principal considerations will be to get a variance for size (180 sq ft vs 48 in the mural policy) and height (20 ft vs 15 ft).  If you have not seen the actual image of the proposed mural, please let me know, and I will send one to you.

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