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Butterflies and birds are depicted in Pajaro muralStudents in Professor Johanna Poethig’s painting and mural class at Cal State Monterey Bay are helping to brighten a park and learning valuable lessons in the process.

They are creating a series of murals that will cover a 300-foot wall at the new Pajaro Neighborhood Park – a 4.9-acre parcel in the largely farm worker community that straddles Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

CSUMB students are creating nine of the 14 murals; local artist and muralist Jose Ortiz is working on the other five. Children from local schools are also contributing their talents to the effort.

The youngsters’ paintings are given an artistic touch by the university’s art students, and then the images are incorporated into panels that are placed on the walls.

According to Professor Poethig, the project will take two or three semesters.

Students in CSUMB’s Visual and Public Art Department see the project as a chance to hone their skills.

Colorful butterflies highlight muralOn their tumblr page, the students say the wall is “a great opportunity for public art design, large-scale painting, student learning and professional development, community improvisation, social practice and shared space.”

The park will include a soccer field; gazebo; bandstand; basketball court; an asphalt running/walking track; children’s play areas; picnic areas and a parking lot.

The Arts Council for Monterey County is sponsoring the project.

See more photos here.