Harbor Seals


Harbor Seals

Artist: Nicola Beatts

Location: 203 N Main Street. Behind Napa Auto Parts

Inspiration for this installation

When we first looked at this corrugated steel wall, we thought there was no way anyone could install any design that wasn’t geometric due to those vertical lines. But Nicola Beatts was undaunted. She is locally famous for her marine mammal artwork at locations such as the Noyo Center for Marine Sciences and the alleyway behind Roundman’s Smokehouse and she had a vision for this wall. Her proposal was a warm underwater sunset, with blue harbor seals pausing in their ocean frolics as if they are observing the viewer curiously, as bull kelp sways in the currents before a white mandala of solar radiation.

When she is not blowing us away with her mural talents Nicola is often found at Triangle Tattoo. Check our her instagram here…

This was Nicola’s original design mockup.

Who loves marine mammals? We do! We do!

If you are standing in front of this mural you are just steps away from an entrance to the headlands trail. Just off this coast, under the waves is a kelp forest – or at least there used to be.

Both Nicola and the Alleyway Art Project are thrilled to be partnering with The Nature Conservancy to bring some much-needed attention to our local kelp forests.

Learn more about The Nature Conservancy and their work locally and globally here…

California’s incredible kelp forests are a critical ecosystem that is more productive than the Amazon rainforest. A breeding ground for more than 1000 species, they act as a protective blanket for our iconic beaches and have an immense impact on jobs and revenue for our state.

But a perfect storm has destroyed 96% of kelp forests on California’s North Coast.

The combination of warming ocean temperatures and a deadly virus has led to the die off of the sunflower sea star, which has set off a chain reaction resulting in massive loss for kelp.

Sunflower sea stars eat purple urchin, and without enough sea stars, the urchin population has exploded to 60 times its usual size. Purple urchin feed on kelp and this ballooning population has eaten its way through much of the kelp forest, resulting in what could be permanent damage to the ecosystem if we don’t find a way to rebalance these species.

Climate-driven changes like those on the North Coast are leading to a massive die-off of kelp forests not only in California, but in places like Australia, Norway and Chile. TNC is committed to leading the way to address this global conservation threat by advancing solutions for protecting kelp forests in California and around the world.


Summer sun illuminates icy seas
Where seals carry fire in their hearts
Each journey is painted with bubbles and kelp
Across an endless horizon of dreams
Shadow swimmers
Harbor drifters
Deep divers
Fish lovers
Wave surfers
Ocean guardians
Oh, salty creatures of our planet—
Fragile, agile,
May you swim forever
Around our blue planet, our bronze sun.

by Karen Lewis
California Poets in the Schools

Poetry and Prose generously donated by members of Writers of the Mendocino CoastLearn more about this fantastic group!

Queen Bee


Queen Bee

Artist: Marta Alonso Canillar

Location: 418 N Main St. on the north facing wall of Mayan Fusion

About The Artist

Marta moved to the United States from Spain when she was 21 and eventually found her way to Mendocino  in 2001. Like many artists, she feels like her artistic journey is intrinsically tied to her journey in life. It’s a journey to find the courage to overcome all manner of insecurities and obstacles to be an artist. She found an inspiring mentor In 2014 when she took an oil painting class with Cynda Valley, a Willits artist at the time.  She describes the experience as “uniquely heart and soul opening.” Cynda taught her the technicalities of oil painting but also encouraged her to look at her art as part of her self, and extension of her being, and to confidently experiment and explore.  Marta clearly has a gift for drawing inspiration from the world, colors, shapes and patterns around herself. She is drawn to portraits, with  a strong connection through the eyes, rural settings, farm animals, old barns, bees, hearts and peeling walls and rusty elements, dreams and made up realities. Her current area of unexplored curiosity is assemblage of oil portraits and sparkling encaustic relief. 

Inspiration for this installation

​One in ten pollinating insects is on the verge of extinction, and a third of our bee and butterfly species are declining. We want to raise awareness through the power of art and honor thees pollinators. 

Did you know that Fort Bragg was the very first official Bee City USA in California? We couldn’t  bee prouder. 

If you’d like to know more about supporting pollinators and invertebrate conservation, I recommend you start by checking out Xerces Society

Protean Forms


Protean Forms

Artist: Derek DiOrio

Location: The alley behind 300 N. Main Street (go past the Rhododendron)

This mural is in progress. If you stop by on a sunny day you might be able to catch Derek at work. 

Inspiration for this installation

Derek had his eye on this wall for ages before he got the chance to cover it in minutely detailed sea life. 

Sunlit Redwood Forest


Sunlit Redwood Forest

Artist: Ryan Grossman

Location: 301 E Redwood Ave.

At the Forrester Building

Inspiration for this mural

As I considered how I was going to transform this wall I knew that I wanted to capture more than just the look of trees. I wanted to capture the experience, the awe that comes from gazing upwards in a thriving forest and seeing sunlight streaming through the branches. I wanted to capture the acid green backlit leaves, the welcoming quiet, the feeling of lushness and abundance. Nature is inspiring, both in a pristine state, but also in a state of recovery. I see great beauty and hopefulness in the process of re-growth, decade upon decade, century upon century. It was great to work with RFFI and learn more specifics about mixed-age forests and their work on behalf of our local forests and community. All of the trees, plants and details of this mural can be found in RFFI’s forests.” – Ryan Grossman

Huge thank you to our co-sponsor The Redwood Forest Foundation Inc.
In the late 1990’s a diverse group of community leaders from Mendocino County came together with a vision for local control of a natural resource on which the community depends. Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc (RFFI) was the first non-profit created to own and manage timberland for the benefit of neighboring communities. In 2007, RFFI purchased Usal Redwood Forest, 50,000 acres of working timberland, and placed a conservation easement on the property assuring it would remain as a single parcel of forestland. They immediately began the process of restoring forest structure and habitat, responding to climate change through carbon sequestration and reconnecting community members to the role and responsibility of managing a forest. It has not been without its challenges, but 15 years later, they are harvesting annually to support local employment, restoring watersheds and improving salmon habitat and selling carbon offsets into the California Cap and Trade market to support debt repayment. To find out more go to www.rffi.org


Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. and Usal Redwood Forest seems to be one of the best kept secrets in Fort Bragg, which is one of the reasons why we partnered with the Alleyway Art Project, Ryan Grossman, and Cynthia Sumner on the Sunlit Redwood Forest Mural. This
stunning mural is certain to inspire passersby to reflect upon and perhaps renew their personal connection with the forests of Northern California.”
Restore · Respond · Reconnect


About the Forrester Building

Location: 301 E Redwood Ave.

In October of 2019, artists Randy Tuell and Cynthia Sumner purchased a rather neglected building on the corner of E. Redwood & McPherson. Their intention was to create a place for artists to come together, to work and to live in an area that already actively supports the arts. The Forrester Building, (named after Cynthia’s grandparents), has now become a giant canvas and an example of the transformational power of public art.
​In early 2022, Cynthia launched Art Scene Studios, a co-working creative space in one of the large street front units. (309 E. Redwood Ave) Here, like-minded artists who enjoy working in the company of others are welcome to share their creative process with passersby. Keep an eye out for Open Studio dates and other events, and take a peak inside.

In the Redwoods

In the deep dimness, a frantic scramble

between wide trunks, over moist musky duff,

under snagging huckleberry.

Brittle brown redwood needles catch, beetles scuttle,

phallic boletes press through leaf litter,

fruiting bodies crisp or ooze, larvae-crawling rotten,

a slug tucks in the cavity it’s chewed.

Okay. Now stop. Breathe out.

Distant surf. In the dank air, around and under,

a slow thrum, the dark cello tones of plucked web:

translucent spider, mycorrhizal pathway, fungal filaments.

Look up.

One hand on old bark, the tree reliable,

follow the trunk. Up and up. Through

stretching acid-green foliage.

To where branches firework into blue arcing sky and

sun casts blinding joy shafts.

Here is where air is born.

By Ericka Lutz

Poetry and Prose generously donated by members of Writers of the Mendocino CoastLearn more about this fantastic group!

Redwood Frolic


Redwood Frolic

Artist: Sally Rodriguez

Location: 221 East Redwood Ave.

Inspiration for this installation

Sally had been dreaming of painting this triptych for years before everything fell into place with the Alleyway Art Project. She loved the rich and somewhat jumbled history of this neighborhood in Fort Bragg, with its many businesses, cultures, and local characters in constant flux over the years. The Little Cup and Larry Spring buildings are some of the oldest buildings in town – along with the Golden West Saloon.

Always a sucker for nostalgia, Sally delighted in depicting a chaotic and festive mashup of history from many time periods, lost treasures, found items, and as many references as she could fit.

Drifting across all three murals are Sally’s signature angels, often depicted holding orbs representing the spheres of the world, the heavens, all knowledge, and mystical interconnectedness.

The wheel in the lower left is from the vintage letterpress at Little Cup Ceramics.

The molotov cocktail to the right is a reference to one thrown during a protest of logging that happened in the 80’s. 

There’s a greyhound bus in the upper right corner under the cup. There used to be a greyhound bus station across the street from this mural.

The Chinese food box is from Lee’s Chinese, kitty-corner from the mural.

The building holding the mural used to be a Finnish fish restaurant, hence the fish head and butcher knife in the center of the piece.

The bowl of fruit on the far right middle is an homage to Picasso. 

The blue basket on the table is going to get filled with laundry.

The upside down angel is Henry, the Alleyway Art Project director Lia’s son who visited Sally while she was painting. The orb the little angel is holding is a reference to Larry Spring’s common sense physics. To learn more, visit the Larry Spring Museum, two doors up Redwood Ave. from this mural.

The water droplet with a face is an abstract references to faces seen through the wet windowpane of the fish shop from years ago.

The Gypsy wagon puppet theatre in the upper right corner is from the Larry Spring commons

The angel with orbs is an homage to Picasso, but Sally includes angels with orbs in many of her works. The orbs  represent the mystical connection of universal heavenly spheres.

The Chinese man reading a book is a reference to an incident when Chinese locals were nearly run out of town but the sheriff intervened to protect them. The “reason” given was because the Chinese community was essential to the functioning of daily life in town.

The wave in the lower right corner is a reference to the local beach and coast.

The woman in the yellow shirt reading a book is in reference to a book store that used to be where the grassy lot is now.

You might notice that right behind the man holding an ice cream cone with a lute tucked under his arm there is a tiny figure standing in a doorway. This is a reference to the early history of the Golden West Saloon as a house of fleeting pleasures.

As if to drive the point home, the angel being squashed under a carafe of ale is a reference to Fort Bragg’s history as a rather wild drinking town.

The three balls in a bowl is a Picasso reference – one of many.

The mid top left area shows boats in the harbor, above some harbor buildings – Noyo harbor was a bustling fishing and trading port back in the day before the fish stocks were catastrophically overfished.

In the bottom left corner there is the tail and head of a salmon.

Next to the salmon at the bottom of the painting is the harbor master’s office.

Person in the hat is a local kid from a photo Sally saw.

In the upper left is some neighborhood buildings, including the building directly across Redwood.

The yellow building in the upper right is the Larry Spring building, as seen from the alley.

The half-of-a-person on the far left is a stilt walker traversing the space between panel three and panel two.

In the middle of panel three is a table holding a bowl with blue lemons and a banana, right above a vase of lupines. The interesting shapes of the tables is a reference to the local Krenov School of Fine Woodworking.

The Angels with heavenly orbs make an appearance in this panel as well.

Red toolbox sitting in a doorway is a reference to the DIY construction of the town in its early days. If you have experience with some of the older buildings in town you will know that many are constructed with high-quality redwood lumber from the local mill, but they were often put together by non-professional builders so there’s some architectural touches that are quirky to say the least.

Sub Rosa


Sub Rosa

Artist: Jason Godeke

Location: 400 E Laurel St. Fort Bragg CA,  across the street from Bainbridge Park

​Unlike many artists who start with a blank canvas, Jason Godeke designed Sub Rosa to complement, and respond to a pre-existing mural on the building. The Grey Fox mural to the right of Sub Rosa was painted by The Obanoth as part of a mural competition sponsored by the City of Fort Bragg. Due to the placement of the Grey Fox, there was a large section of wall that was un-decorated, and Jason wanted to fill it with something that felt dynamic, and alive. ​​

Inspiration for this installation

What is this strange creature you see before you? In Jason’s words “It is something submerged, to reference the rich marine life of our coastal waters, but also fantastical.” The intense colors and details offer a dynamic and complicated response to the question the Grey Fox seems to pose. The shades and forms flow from the soft green bubbles at the edge of the two murals’ boundary, then sharpen and resolve as the viewer is drawn into the depths of Sub Rosa’s stylized realm. Design elements for the creature’s face and head reference stone carvings and mural fragment’s found in the ancient Mezoamerican city of Teotihuacan, famed for their bold contrasts and powerful structural elements. Upon this foundation, Jason layers rainbow fins, textured body segments, and marionette-like limbs, to create a whimsical mash-up with a personality all its own. Jason Godeke  is the art teacher at Fort Bragg Middle school. He is available for more mural projects. His dream is to design and install a large local mural with his students. Donate to the middle school art program. 


Sub Rosa literally means “under the rose” in New Latin. Since ancient times, the rose has often been associated with secrecy. In ancient mythology, Cupid gave a rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to keep him from telling about the indiscretions of Venus. Ceilings of dining rooms have been decorated with carvings of roses, reportedly to remind guests that what was said at the table should be kept confidential. Roses have also been placed over confessionals as a symbol of the confidentiality of confession. Sub rosa entered the English language in the 17th century, and even before then, people were using the English version, “under the rose.” Earlier still, unter der Rose was apparently used in Germany, where the phrase is thought to have originated.

Matsya and the Great Deluge


Matsya and the Great Deluge

Artist: Bojh Parker

Location: The alleyway next to 345 North Franklin (Visit Mendocino Office)

The sheer scale of Bojh’s 15’x55′ mural is dizzying, in a great way. Stand in front of it, and you will be instantly drawn into the  swirling patterns, colors and waves just like Matsya, the fish protagonist in the story that inspired this mural.

A computer mockup of the original proposed design…

The blank canvas

The work begins

The completed final work… so big your eyes swim through it.

Inspiration for this installation

Matsya and the Great Deluge is an ancient tale from India retold in many texts starting around 700 BCE.  Matsya is a small fish that appears to a great king named Manu, either in his wash bowl, or while he is performing religious rites by a river. Matsya begs Manu for protection from larger fish, and promises to save him from a great flood in the future. The king protects the small fish, transferring him to larger and larger containers of water as he grows. Eventually Matsya is so large that Manu puts him in the ocean. Matsya thanks the king for protecting him when he was small and vulnerable. He tells Manu the date that the devastating floods will arrive, and where the king should meet him with the great ship he must now go and build. On the day of the deluge Matsya finds the king and his ship among the swirling waters and tows him to the Himalayas where the king performs prayers and sacrifices, and re-establishes all life, thereby saving humanity and averting the complete destruction of the world. Pretty great, right? 

How this installation came to be

Bojh Parker has an instantly recognizable style, so we were familiar with his work from other art shows around town. We were thrilled when he joined the Alleyway Art Project, and very impressed at his ambitious proposal for the very large wall that Alan Limbird volunteered for a possible public art space. Alan immediately pulled Bojh’s design out of the stack of proposals for the space. He later said, ” I immediately knew that was the one!  Bojh’s mural really resonated with me. I didn’t look any further.  I told Lia, this is the one.  Let’s do it.” We have to admit, we were surprised, and impressed. It takes vision and courage to commit to such a bold design at that scale, but Alan has a sharp eye for talent, and he saw the potential in this proposal.Alan and Laura Limbird very generously offered to co-sponsor the mural. With Flockworks as a co-sponsor, a grant from The Mendocino County Tourism Commission, and some delightfully unexpected donations from members of the community and local businesses, we reached our funding goal and began planning the installation process.  The finished work has exceeded everyone’s expectations. The mural has transformed the space, with locals and visitors alike regularly taking photos and chatting about “how they would describe this style of artwork.” To see more of Bojh’s work visit his website ​bojhparkermedia.com

If you want to commission a mural by Bojh you can inquire through his website contact page.

The story of Matsya and the king Manu, reminds us that sometimes if we protect small, delicate things from the “law of the jungle” where the strong gobble up the weak, the small things will have a chance to grow into mighty forces for good, that may someday save us all when we need it most. There are many real life examples of this story happening right now in Fort Bragg, from obvious examples like the local organizations working to restore our local rivers for salmon and trout, to less obvious examples like early childhood education programs, or if we may be so bold, the Alleyway Art Project, which started as a small “what if” and with the help of Flockworks and so many wonderful members of our community is growing into something far larger than we could have ever imagined. 

Mendocino Land of Extravagant Visions


Mendocino Land of Extravagant Visions

Artist: Marta Alosno Canillar

Location: Where the train tracks cross Main St.

This jewel of a mural is a love letter to Mendocino County. The flowing images layer many of Marta’s favorite, iconic bits of the county with details from her own life. You can stare at this mural for 20 minutes and still keep finding tiny surprises tucked into a corner or hiding behind a leaf. Here are a few of our favorite details:

Keen eyed observers may note that this honeycomb is hiding the symbol of the melatonin molecule. While Marta was painting this section she was listening to a podcast about the pineal gland, and the role of melatonin and seratonin in mental health and happiness. She hid the structure of the melatonin molecule in the honeycomb. Fun fact: Melatonin metabolizes into DMT, though not in high enough amounts to induce a psychoactive state. Bees are so important to any ecosystem, but particularly to a farm ecosystem. Marta likes making small things bigger and making big things smaller. She says “notice small creatures!”

Marta was thrilled when the Skunk Train agreed to host this mural. Her grandfather worked for a train company and lived by depot in Spain. She has fond memories of traveling by train in Spain when she lived there, and she routinely travels by train when she visits. She particularly loved painting the engine.

Marta laughed when she described this section of the mural. She has spent years living in the country on a farm, farming and painting. She said somehow along the line she switched from farming to painting farms. This scene is a conglomeration of elements from her life. The bicycle was a gift given to her in high school by her parents for getting good grades. She later found it in her parents garage, packed it up and had it shipped to California. She loves that bike and rides it all the time. The dog by barn is her friend’s puppy. The puppy’s name is Dillinger, or Dilly.

Are there really mountain lions in Mendocino? Yes there sure are. You are unlikely to see one however, and if you do, keep in mind that their preferred food is local deer, and there has not been a mountain lion attack since 1994. That being said, do not approach the mountain lion to try to get a picture. Seriously. Learn more here…

Hi banana slug! Banana slugs thrive in the damp shade of redwood forests along North America’s Pacific coastal coniferous rainforest belt (including douglas-fir forests and redwood forests) which stretches from Southeastern Alaska to Santa Cruz, California. They eat fallen leaves, mushrooms, moss, and other dead plant material. There are three species of banana slugs in California: the bright yellow California banana slug, the olive green and spotted Pacific banana slug, and the long thin Slender banana slug.

If you hike any of our local trails through the redwoods keep an eye out for two of our local plant species. Trillium ovatum flowers seem to glow white against the shady forest floor. Redwood sorrel is a common sight, distinguished by it’s red-backed clover-like leaves and pink flowers. Redwood sorrel has a bright, tangy, lemony flavor, but double check with a field guide before sampling anything in the wild. Did you notice the little frog sitting on the trillium leaf? Or the new Douglas fir sprout emerging from the fallen pine cone?

You may notice this little paper boat as it makes it’s journey from this inland pond to the sea.

Since 2014 the vast forests of bull kelp off the coast of Northern California have experienced a catastrophic 95% die-off. Why? Learn more here…

Did you know that California’s wild turkeys are non-native? Learn more here…

Chickens are dear to Marta. She says she loves chickens because they are very silly.

The North Coast

I’ve traveled to 48 of 50 states; my chosen home is the coast of Mendocino County, with its rugged
shorelines, majestic redwood forests, and snake-like roads. Wooden houses are the norm. Some are
vacation homes for millionaires, but most are cottages belonging to quirky people who’d choose to live
nowhere else. Farmettes exist with small populations of chickens, goats, or sheep. In this part of the
world, most everyone has (at the very least) a dog or cat. Sometimes, a potbellied pig or llamas.
By our Pacific headlands, seagulls swope, ospreys dive, and pods of pelicans fly by to everyone’s delight.
The ocean and rivers are home to playful otters and seals. And they contain delicacies: abalone, salmon,
mussels. If you are lucky, you might see a whale stealthily swimming their migratory route. It is their
water spout that gives them away.
Our forests draw wild animals, such as black bears and mountain lions. Ravens and heron build nests for
their babies in the treetops. Mule deer abound. Gray foxes venture out to find opportunities (such as
chicken houses).
When the Ft. Bragg Skunk Train returns from traversing the deep woods and modest mountains of the
coastal range, tourists clamber down its metal steps. The happy adults and children are off on more
adventures, the favorites being beach walks and seafood dinners. Locals are glad to have them arrive to
boost the economy, but they don’t mind when the visitors leave, and the streets become as quiet as the

By Susan Fisher

The Rhododendron


The Rhododendron

Artist: Ferric Decay

Location: The shed next to the parking lot behind 300 North Main St.

This stunning piece was designed by local artist Ferric Decay and co-sponsored by local non-profit The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Their collection boasts more than 1000 rhododendrons, of 124 different species and 315 taxa. The flowers depicted in this installation are of the species “Pink Delight.” Peak rhododendron season is April to May, but you can see blooms from as early as December through June.

The Inspiration

Jacob, aka Ferric Decay, is a local artist, screen printer, and tattoo designer, often sought out for his moody naturalist style and lush details. He is currently setting up a tattoo shop in Point Arena, CA. While perusing his instagram feed, Lia saw a tattoo of rhododendrons that caught her attention. The Botanical Gardens loved the idea of a rhododendron installation downtown, both because rhododendrons are native to the moist redwood groves of Mendocino county, and because they host one of the largest and most spectacular rhododendron collections in the country, including many endangered species, some of which are now extinct in their native habitats. Everyone agreed the design would pair well with the weathered surface of a local shed commonly referred to as the “No Barking” shed, after a mischievous local changed the sign on the north side. Luckily the property owner agreed, and the Rhododendron was installed in April-May 2018. 

The Process

It took over a month to install the mural.  Jacob started by projecting a sketch onto the side of the building at night and tracing it with charcoal. Then he removed all the previous paint in the areas the mural would cover. He was careful to leave the peeling paint on the rest of the building to preserve the weathered look. Oil based primers went on first, followed by tinted base coats, shadows, highlights, colors, and details, all building to create an image that appears to leap out at you from the side of the shed. 

Rhododendrons on the Mendocino Coast

Tender species rhododendrons are found between 25- and 35-degrees latitude at elevations between 4,000 and 9,000 feet in their native habitats in Burma, China, and Tibet. In North America, only a narrow strip from Santa Cruz, California to Brookings, Oregon is suitable habitat for these plants. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is close to the center of the optimal zone—the southern part of this strip is limited by low rainfall and restricted groundwater, while the northern section is limited by periodic extremes of cold. The lack of summer rain is offset by coastal fog and by the availability of irrigation water from local creeks.

Visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is a 47-acre nonprofit botanical garden that stretches from Coast Highway 1 to the Pacific Ocean and contains world-recognized plant collections. The Gardens was founded in 1961 by retired nurseryman Ernest Schoefer and his wife, Betty. Ernest’s keen eye spotted the ample supply of water augmented by the mild coastal climate and quality soil essential to acid-loving plants like Rhododendrons. In addition to rhododendrons, this botanical jewel has collections of fuchsias, magnolias, heaths, heathers, dahlias, heritage roses, mushrooms, succulents, camellias, and conifers. Specialty gardens include a perennial garden, woodland garden, and vegetable garden. Natural areas include riparian zones, shore pine and bishop pine forests, and ocean bluffs. The trails are great for both long and short walks (dogs welcome!). Visit www.gardenbythesea.org for more information.

Mendocino Botanical Gardens

Gates still open
a French blue sky
purples and reds
yellows and whites.
The sunlight
over our shoulders
down our arms
on the black and white
fur of our girls.
This canopy of color
this quiet
late afternoon
broken only
by the sound
of the wind
the beat
of our hearts.
The gates close
the waning
gibbous moon
keeps watch
till a thunder
of rhododendrons
in bloom
ushers in sunrise.
– By windflower, 2022

Poetry and Prose generously donated by members of Writers of the Mendocino CoastLearn more about this fantastic group!

Be A Light



Artist: Ryan Grossman

Location: The south-facing wall of 300 N Franklin St. (Along Redwood Ave.)

Ryan came to the Mendocino coast from San Francisco in 2015. He is a graduate of the Academy of Art University where he studied oil painting. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, he’s been heavily influenced by the visual power of seascapes and the increasing effects of climate change. His subtle narratives and symbolism drive his representational paintings often with a surreal or dreamlike quality.

The Inspiration

The gift of this mural is intended to honor Ronald Reiter. He was in his element along the Mendocino coast and could stand for hours on a headland, taking it all in. He never missed a chance to visit a lighthouse, particularly those with Fresnel lenses. He was fascinated by their science and art. On a tour at the Mendocino lighthouse, he soaked up the volunteers’ words and enthused about the polished brass and circling prisms, his eyes reflecting the glow.He was, himself, a light in the world.  He spent his career working to prevent companies from fleecing consumers. Here are some examples: He prosecuted cases against companies, among others, that lied and tricked low-income consumers into signing liens on their homes. He filed dozens of amicus and other appellate briefs with state and federal courts and occasionally the U.S. Supreme, for example, to insure companies exploiting their workers couldn’t falsely tout their fine treatment of workers in their ads. He lobbied the legislature, on behalf of the California Attorney General, to pass laws more protective of consumers, for example, to prosecute so-called foreclosure consultants, or  to prohibit auto dealers from making misleading claims based on “invoice prices.” He helped consumer protection prosecutors and legal aid attorneys and private attorneys across the state to realize the potential in California’s consumer protection laws to make a difference for the public.  

So his light still shines.  

The mural’s radiance honors his light and reminds us that we, too, can be a light.

Artists Quote

“When I was approached about the subject of this mural being Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, I wanted to honor not only Margaret’s husband Ron and the lighthouse itself in the vastness of the Point Cabrillo headlands, but particularly the Fresnel lens while keeping the creativity, emotionality and personal perspective that I present in my work and how to convey that into the very public format of a mural.

By arriving at the composition of the Fresnel lens overlaying the landscape of the headlands, I invite the viewer of the mural to be both inside the light of the lighthouse as well as view the lighthouse they are within-thus creating a tension of placement and a suspension of reality and the symbolic opportunity to “be a light”.

I like to think of each panel representing Past, Present, and Future. The figure on the bluff with the universe emanating from within represents the light of the past and the light of Margaret’s husband Ron. The lighthouse, the beacon to the future; the light in the dark showing the way. The circular, focused center of the lens in the middle panel being the in-between, the cycle, the present.

I hope it not only inspires curiosity and awe of the lighthouse and headlands but also reminds viewers to be a positive force in the world, a light in the dark. Thanks to the Fort Bragg Alleyway Mural Project and Margaret Reiter for giving me this opportunity to explore and expand my creativity. “

The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

The historic Point Cabrillo Lighthouse was first lit on June 10 of 1909, and continues to shine today with its original Fresnel lens. The Fresnel lens was invented in the early 1800s by French engineer Augustin-Jean Fresnel. His invention revolutionized the world of light technology and his lens became the gold standard for lighthouses across the globe. The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse features a third order Fresnel lens, made up of 150 individual prisms that work together to direct light into beams that shine out toward the horizon. The ten second flash from the lighthouse can be seen for more than 13 miles out to sea.

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse was established as a navigational beacon, providing a waypoint for the lumber schooners traveling north and south along the Mendocino Coast. Originally lit with wicks and kerosene, the lens now uses a 1000 watt halogen bulb as its light source, and is operated as an Active Aid to Navigation by the United States Coast Guard. The grounds at Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park are maintained and managed through a partnership between California State Parks and the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to preservation and education at the lighthouse.

The Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park is located halfway between the towns of Fort Bragg and Mendocino, on Point Cabrillo Drive. The museums and gift shop are staffed by volunteers and are open every day of the year from 11am – 4pm. Learn more about Point Cabrillo by visiting www.pointcabrillo.org.