We want to thank everyone for supporting the Winters Participation Gallery for the Arts and the Winters Historical Mural Project during this year's Big Day of Giving!
Please Support WPG on Big Day of Giving
Dear Supporters of Winters Participation Gallery for the Arts,
We love Winters!
Those of us on the WPG Board believe that Winters is a wonderful community with many amenities that make living here enjoyable. However, as is the case for any town or city, there are ways to make it even better. A feature that is lacking in our beautiful town is public art. WPG Board members believe that public art provides an opportunity to express our community values, adds uniqueness to our town, and in the case of WPG murals, involves students in the designing and implementation of a large scale work of art. Public art can also serve as a tourism tool and economic driver, bringing people to town. Unfortunately, the City’s budget does not include commissioning public art.
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That’s where WPG comes in.
Every summer we sponsor the Historical Mural Project where we partner with a local business and enroll local youth to design and implement a mural under the direction of professional artists. We offer this opportunity free of charge, and the results are always amazing. What isn’t well-known about our project is that there are substantial behind-the-scenes costs, and to date, the murals have cost between $10,000 - $15,000 each. This year, we are partnering with Winters Healthcare Foundation to paint the generator building at the east end of the facility, so we are painting four walls.
That’s where you come in.
We need your help to reach our goal of $10,000.00 through Big Day of Giving. BDOG is May 4th, and it is our largest fundraiser of the year. Help us promote a love of art and artistic expression. Help us provide an enriching opportunity for youth to give back to their community. Help us make Winters more beautiful one wall at a time! This year through a very generous offer, we have a potential fund-match up to $5,000.00. That means the first $5,000.00 raised will be doubled!
Please show your support for the Historical Mural Project by making a donation to WPG during this year’s Big Day of Giving. Thanks to your generosity during Big Day of Giving 2022, we added a mural on the United States Post Office building, bringing the number of murals we have sponsored to six. We want to make it seven.
Early giving opened on April 20th, so you can donate anytime before 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 4. To make a gift, please visit our Big Day of Giving Page or mail a check to Winters Participation Gallery at P.O. Box 1140, Winters, CA 95694.
One final note . . .
There are a number of Winters-based charities seeking support during Big Day of Giving, all of which are listed at this Winters Collective Big Day of Giving website. When making a gift to WPG, please consider supporting their important work as well.
2022 Winters History Mural
The "Before" and "After" Photos
Alligator at the Post Office Explained
Bill Gray, beloved ex-postmaster, shared the story of the alligator that lives at the Winters Post Office in Winters Friends of the Library's Winters Tales.
"Probably about 1966, Joyce Martino had married Wally Neely. They went to Florida, I think. He was a Lt. Comdr. In the Navy, and her little brother, Joseph Martino, started coming in and he'd say, 'Hey, did my alligator come in yet?' 'What alligator?' 'I'm getting an alligator through the mail!' Well he came in for about two weeks. He was about ten years old. One day we got this long cardboard box, with all these holes punched in it. This was before they were endangered and you could buy them and sell them. And we could hear all this flawing and scratching and gnawing in there. So here came Joseph after school. 'Did my alligator come?' 'Right here, Joseph!' And he said, 'Give me something to cut it open with!' We got a knife and cut it and all of a sudden this long beak came out, snapping, and this big yellow eye. This thing was trying to claw its way out. We shoved it back down in there, taped it over, and he took it home."
"When I was in high school, I was going somewhere with my folks in the car, and they turned on Jack Benny. And Jack Benny and Rochester went down into the basement and the basement was full of water and full of alligators. And they were yelling and Rochester was hollering that the alligators were getting him. And it stuck in my brain. So when this alligator came through the mail, we started telling everybody that there was an alligator in the basement of the Post Office. We'd have little kids come through on tours from the school and when they were up in the front, one of us would go down in the basement and go 'Rowr! Rowr!' Also, in the sidewalk there's a metal grate and you can look down in the basement, and on hot afternoons we'd hear little kids laughing and giggling, and we'd look out there, and these little kids going to the swimming pool would be laying on that hot sidewalk in their swimsuits, shading their eyes, looking down there trying to see the alligator."
"I'd tell a little kid that when the alligator made me mad, I'd grab him by the tail and pull him out of his tub and let him run on the cement, but his little claws would slip, so he'd run but he couldn't get anywhere. 'What are you going to do with him?' I said when I retired I was going to shoot him and make him into a sports coat. So then when we moved to the new Post Office, we told them that they couldn't see him any more, like people used to see him, because he would thrash his tail and throw all the water out and snap, and we said he's too big. 'Well how long is he?' Oh, we said he's probably four foot long, not counting the tail. He might measure six or eight feet. We perpetuated that forever. You still go in there and you see pictures of the alligator in the Post Office. The little school kids draw pictures of the alligator. Little kids to this day still think there's an alligator."
[Bill Gray was interviewed by Pat O'Connor-Marer in September, 2000, for Winters Friends of the Library's Winters Tales--Stories, poems, and recollections about life in Winters, California which was edited by Diane Cary, includes photographs by Jamie Chomas, and was published in 2002.]
On behalf of the Board of the Winters Participation Gallery, it is my sad job to give you the news of Kate Humphrey's death on Tuesday, September 12. Kate was a leading player in the creation and implementation of the Winters Historical Mural Project. Years before the actuation of the murals themselves, she and I brainstormed how it might come to fruition. Without her, it would not have even been considered. She was a true pioneer and vibrant spirit that generated this whole thing into being. I shall miss her greatly, as I know you all will.
With great sorrow,
[Photo by Debbie Hemenway]
2022 Mural Photos
Creating the Post Office Mural!
Mural Artists at Work!
Post Office Wall - Starting point for Mural 2022
The Wall has been power washed and primed.
Mural Design Diagrams
Mural Design Field Trip
Kate Humphrey and the design crew went to the Winters Post Office on Wednesday.
The field trip was both informative and fun. The team had a personal tour from Cel Galabasa, postman extraordinaire, and Aimee Lassalle, Winters Postmaster. They learned about the alligator that lives in the Post Office basement! Members of the design team took photos of items they found interesting.
2021 Winters History Mural
The "Before" and "After" Photos
2020 Winters History Mural
2019 Winters History Mural
2018 Winters History Mural
The members of the Board of Winters Participation Gallery thank you for your contribution to our Big Day of Giving fundraising drive. WPG relies on your Big DOG donation to support the annual Historical Mural Project that takes place each summer.
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With your help, students in grades 6 - 12 will design and paint our sixth mural on the Post Office Building in June and July. They will learn about Winters' history and incorporate that into the design, which, with the direction of professional muralists, they will transfer into a vibrant work of art.
It is through generous contributions like yours that we are able to provide this unique opportunity for the youth of Winters. We appreciate your support in helping us make Winters more beautiful one wall at a time!
Nancy Button Young
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