A mural on the Highway 24 underpass at 52nd Street in Temescal that has been in the works for two years is close to completion. All that’s left is a little touch-up work and approval from BART to work on the two remaining blank columns.
“It’s been an arduous process trying to work with the city bureaucracy trying to get this thing painted,” said Darlene Rios Drapkin, executive director of the Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District. “We’re almost there,” she added. Three people were out on a cherry picker Wednesday afternoon applying touch-up paint with brushes.
The mural, which has blue and green waves and is inscribed with the word “Temescal” is the work of Oakland artist Alan Leon. Work began in March, although the planning process began in 2009. The mural cost $85,000 – $70,000 from TBID and $15,000 from a City of Oakland Cultural Arts grant.
Drapkin said the idea behind the mural was to better link Telegraph Avenue with Children’s Hospital Oakland on the other side of the underpass, and to give the hospital a more welcoming look to visitors. “Now we feel there’s much more of a desire to walk that stretch of Telegraph Avenue,” he said.
The mural will be unveiled at the Temescal Street Fair on July 10, if all goes as planned, Drapkin said.