FCC Instructors and Students Paint Mural for the Valley


Photo by: Jimmy Heng

"Honoring Workers of the Valley," a mural painted by FCC instructors and students, is on the second floor of The Big Fresno Fair museum.

Story By: Jimmy Heng, Reporter

A mural by a Fresno City College art instructor and his students is on display at the Fresno County Historical Museum.
Kevin Stewart-Magee was chosen by Union Park and Workers Memorial Foundation to create a mural to commemorate the hard workers of the valley.
The 144-square-foot mural, “Honoring the Workers of the Valley”, is located on the second floor of the Fresno County Historical Museum.
Stewart-Magee, who has been working at FCC for two years, said this mural was crafted by the students who took his Art-25 class offered in Spring 2017 semester. He said he had been looking for a way his students to utilize their talent and be rewarded for it.
He attended a meeting at the Big Fresno Fair where several murals were being discussed. Union Park chose Stewart-Magee after they examined his portfolio, and he brought along six talented students — Tommy Duch, Mercedes James, Nicolo Morelos, Tanner Jensen, Joie Siakovich-Inshaw and Martin Townsend and another instructor, Caleb Henderson, to help with the work.

Stewart-Magee said he created many murals and gives his student credit for this work.

“The students solved all the problems, came up with all the best parts of it,” Stewart-Magee said. “A really remarkable team of students.”

Stewart-Magee said the artists had approximately three weeks to complete research and sell the design ides to the client and then six weeks of painting. He added it was a speedy process to complete such a detailed work of art.

He says he hopes to do other projects with Union Park in the future.

In order to complete the mural as quickly as they had to, the students spent several painstaking hours working on it.

Art student, Tommy Duch, worked on most of the figures. Duch said he stopped keeping track of the time they spent on the project, and estimates that the team spent more than 65 hours painting.

“Our whole deal was people, Painting people, drawing people, making sure that we had everyone included in the mural,” Duch said. “All the traits associated with the unions of the valley.”

Duch said that he has never worked on a project this big. He had worked on one of the murals located in the Art building alongside many of his colleagues.

Stewart-Magee’s mural classes have created nine new murals on the FCC campus. Duch says that a majority of the students who worked on them also participated in creating the mural that is on display at the fair.

Duch says that it takes a lot of persistence to find work in the arts.

“I jumped at the first chance that I got to work in this,” Duch said. “You have to find the opportunities and take them as much as you can.”

FFC art students have been fortunate in finding work opportunities for artists in the Fresno area.

“There are mural competitions in Fresno,” Stewart-Magee said. “There’s the arts commission which has several murals and the mural district which has tours.”