Artist bringing Indio’s newest mural to life will offer unique way for residents to help

As part of the painting process, the artist plans to number sections of the mural so that anyone who wants to can pick up a brush and apply the corresponding color.
During the creation of a mural planned on a wall directly behind the “Colossal Cacti” sculptures, the community will be invited to paint by numbers.

The newest mural approved for Indio could be completed with the help of some very familiar artists — you, the community.

Driving the news: The Indio Public Arts Commission voted 4-1 on Tuesday to award a contract for the “Mural No. 12” to artist Zach Fleming. It will appear on the wall of a building off Smurr Street, directly behind the “Colossal Cacti” art that was installed earlier this year.

  • Fleming is a local artist whose work has appeared at the Coachella Valley History Museum and Coachella Valley Art Center. among other places. His public installations include an “art bench” along Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

  • Prior to the Commission voting between three proposed murals, Fleming said his piece pays homage to the San Jacinto/Santa Rosa mountains that define the geography of the Coachella Valley. He was particularly interested in working near the cactus statues, he said, because cactus are a recurring theme in his work.

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Zoom in: The Indio community will play a role in Fleming’s mural. As part of the painting process, he plans to number sections of the mural so that anyone who wants to can pick up a brush and apply the corresponding color.

  • “Indio is first place I ever called home,” Fleming said. “I spent the first seven years of my life here. I want to give back to the community.”

Behind the scenes: Commission Chair Bill Schinsky was the lone vote against Fleming’s proposal, but all members struggled with the decision. At issue was the enviable fact all the artists vying to paint on the wall were worthy of a vote.

  • To solve the dilemma, they encouraged both Jessica Macias and Patrick Barwinski to continue bidding on upcoming painting projects, assuring them room will be found for them to contribute their talents.

  • “We want your work in the city of Indio,” Schinsky said. “Please do not go away. We liked what we saw across the board.”

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