Kristin Farr Debuts Her Massive, Vibrant Walnut Creek Mural
by Claire Astrow
Kristin Farr, West Coast Barn Quilt, 2018, acrylic paint on DiBond panels, 28 x 16 feet, photo courtesy of Bedford Gallery.
Head over to the Bedford Gallery one of these dreary winter days and you will be miraculously doused in much needed summer sunshine and warmth, thanks to a brand new vibrant mural by Bay Area art star Kristin Farr. Titled West Coast Barn Quilt, this massive, vividly hued 28 by 16 foot mural is prominently displayed on the exterior wall of the Lesher Center for the Arts, which is home to the Bedford Gallery.
The mural was hand-painted on site by Farr using no masking tape or straight-edge tools. She selected a customized palette of 16 colors in response to her impressions from walking around downtown Walnut Creek, and asking passersby “what’s your favorite color?” Noting that the Lesher Center and the new mural mark the northernmost point of the City’s downtown Arts District, Walnut Creek Mayor Justin Wedel observes that “this vibrant, eye-popping work of art will catch the imagination of viewers and serve as a bright and colorful signpost for the Arts District.”
With Farr’s mural, the City of Walnut Creek is inaugurating a program to create murals on publicly visible walls throughout the downtown area. West Coast Barn Quilt will be displayed for up to five years before a new artwork is solicited from artists.
Kristin Farr and her winning concept were chosen from a pool of talented artists by a selection panel that included Walnut Creek Mayor Justin Wedel, Councilmember Kevin Wilk, Arts Commissioner Glynnis Cowdery, Walnut Creek arts advocate and Bedford Gallery docent Carol Fowler, and arts professionals Ken Harman, Director of Hashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco; Michelle Mansour, Director of Root Division, San Francisco; and Leo Bersamina, artist and professor of art at Diablo Valley College. The panel’s recommendation was approved by the Walnut Creek Arts Commission before Farr began work on the mural.
Kristin Farr, West Coast Barn Quilt. (progress shot), 2018, acrylic paint on DiBond panels, 28 x 16 feet, photo courtesy of Bedford Gallery.
Kristin Farr’s paintings are directed by color and influenced by folk art practices. Her brightly colored, often geometric designs create a three-dimensional illusion that is both playful and captivating. Farr’s Magic Hecksagon paintings are a nod to her family’s roots in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art.
Kristin Farr, West Coast Barn Quilt (progress shot), 2018, acrylic paint on DiBond panels, 28 x 16 feet, photo courtesy of Bedford Gallery.
Farr is a visual artist and arts journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to her studio and public artwork, she curates art projects for Facebook’s artist-in-residence program. She has exhibited her work widely in the Bay Area, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Berkeley Art Center, and Palo Alto Art Center. She has also completed mural commissions and public art projects for Kaiser Permanente (Sacramento, CA), Facebook Headquarters (Menlo Park, CA), Pinterest (San Francisco, CA), Berkeley Art Center (Berkeley, CA), Taipei City Zoo (Taipei City, Taiwan), and Bonnaroo Music Festival (Manchester, TN).
Head on over to the Bedford Gallery to view this stunning piece in person! And be sure to check out Bedford Gallery’s extensive public art collection.