Mural outlining Ventura's history will soon be installed

Artist opens up about how it's being created

Ventura artist working on historic...

VENTURA, Calif. - The City of Ventura is celebrating its 150th anniversary of being a city by installing a mural outlining its history.

Michael O’Kelly is the artist behind a 50 foot wide by ten foot high ceramic mural that will soon be on display at the Ventura Mission grounds on Main Street in downtown Ventura.

“It’s a beautiful thing because it shows architecture that use to be here and was knocked down.  It shows new architecture, people who are patrons of the arts, the builders, developers, farmers and it just shows how the town really came to be,” said O’Kelly.

The project is a community effort funded by local businesses and families.  The goal of the piece is to highlight Ventura’s 150 year history.

O’Kelly has been working on the piece for nearly two years, a good portion of that time was doing the historic research.

“The longest part is the research, the historical documentation, making sure all these people are real people .  They look like who they were and are, and making sure that the timeline is fairly accurate,” said O’Kelly.

After researching the ins and outs of the city’s history the Ventura artist then designed it, and started creating it.

“The mural is being made in high fired ceramic, which means I do the drawing which you can see here and that drawing is then transferred onto bisque which is blank terra-cotta.  Then I colorize it and we put on the glazes,” said O’Kelly, “We are doing it in 8 by 8 squares and it will go up onto this wall and be there forever.”

The City of Ventura plans on unveiling the mural to the public in late July.

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