Friday, March 12, 2010

The Murals of Exeter, California

On the Saturday of my visit with Carol, we set out for Exeter, a lovely little town, not far from where she lives in the San Joaquin Valley. Do you know the old country song: "Down in the Orange Grove?" Well, there are orange groves everywhere here and it's gorgeous country. As we drove through the groves, I could just imagine the smell of the blossoms on a warm summer night.
A nice woman in an art gallery gave us some information from the Exeter Chamber of Commerce, so I can describe the murals and name the artists. The sheet I got lists 26 outdoor murals and three indoor ones in various businesses in town. I also learned that Exeter boasts the sweetest and most delicious naval oranges in the world. I can attest to this since I have personally picked and eaten many naval oranges from Carol's tree. I get bags full of them to take with me home when I visit and they really are the best tasting oranges ever.

Orange Harvest:  Features a scene of orange pickers in the 1930s.
Artists:  Colleen Mitchell-Veyna, Visalia, CA & Morgan McCall, Farmersville, CA

Packing Ladies:  I fell in love with this one that features the Exeter Citrus Packing House, circa 1950. Notice how the ladies pack and grade the oranges, while the foreman sort of sits above them and keeps a watchful eye. Those were the days!
Artist:  Colleen Mitchell-Veyna, Visalia, CA

The mural reminded me of the silk/tissue-papers that oranges came wrapped in when I was a kid. Imagine that, oranges came individually wrapped in tissue paper!! The papers were gorgeous, with colorful, pictures of faraway places. In Sweden, the oranges usually came from Spain, with names like Seville, Valencia, and so on. I used to collect these wrappers and dream of places where oranges actually grew on trees.

Poppies and Lupine:  The hand-out we got says that this field of California poppies and lupine is located on the road to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, not far from Exeter
Artist:  Varian Mace, Visalia, CA

Mineral King "In Our Backyard":  This was Carol's favorite mural and it's gorgeous. It features the Mineral King area with Sawtooth, Farewell Gap, and Timber Gap.
Artist:  Jana Botkin, Three Rivers, CA.

A close-up

Hometown News:  The Exeter Sun Newsroom in the 1920s.  This was located across the alley from Mineral King and showed a newspaper office of long ago. I really enjoy seeing how people lived and worked in the early to mid-20th century. So this was another treat for me.
Artist:  Gary Kerby, Wilsall, MT.

Yokuts Harvest:  I was impressed by both the Yokuts skill in basket weaving and the artist's skill in painting the baskets you see below, thus honoring the skills of the original basket weavers.
Artist:  Ben Barker, Susanville, CA

Exeter Road Race Circa 1916:  One of my favorites (I have a weakness for old roadsters) it depicts race cars getting ready for a road race through Exeter. As I'm reading this hand-out, I see that all the murals have hidden objects in them. I have to go back someday and look for them. Hidden objects here: A polar bear, numbers, a child holding a bear, all symbols from the "Lost" TV program.
Artist:  Colleen Mitchell-Veyna, Visalia, CA

Timber Trail:  Oh, I spotted some long-ears! Mules, not donkeys, but still, what a beautiful painting. Look at the use of light and color. The mule train and wagons transported logs to Atwell Mill, which is now a part of Sequoia National Park (I'm quoting the hand-out here).
Artist:  Martin Weekly, El Dorado Hills and Exeter, CA

This is the mural of the orange pickers from a distance.

And this is a cat, crossing the street like he owns the place…which of course, being a cat, he does.

Thanks for coming with me on this visit to Exeter, California. If you are ever in Sequoia National Park or anywhere in Tulare County, I would recommend a stop-over in this little town. There are many art galleries, coffee shops, quaint places all over, and the antique stores I blogged about earlier.


  1. These are absolutely beautiful, Canyon Girl! I absolutely will go to see them, if I ever get to California. Thank you for introducing them.

  2. How wonderful your photos of the murals are... they pick up the detail so well... and considering how contrary your camera was that day I am amazed they came out so beautifully. I'm glad you took the time to look up the details too... we never took time to read about them that day... so it was all new to me. I'm glad you put the descriptions with the murals. I still love the Mineral King one the best but seeing the detail of the native American one is truly stunning too and... of course the light coming through the trees depicted on the one with the Mule train is also just stunning. Thank you for giving me a new look at the beautiful murals. We need to go back and search out the rest of them .. I did find the Mountain Lion one we searched for... it is well worth seeing.... I hope your other blog followers find it equally appealing to look at....

  3. Hej.
    Vad roligt att du tittade in hos mig.

    Vilka makalöst fina målningar du visar. Vilket jobb de har lagt ner på en sådan fina utsmyckningar av kanske annars trista hus.

    Här har vi mycket snö kvar ännu men det töar förfullt och solen skiner från en klarblå himmel.

    Ha en riktigt fin helg


  4. I think it adds a lot to a town to have murals. That's the most in one town I have ever seen. Interesting!

  5. Louise: I hope you'll come and visit California some day. Glad you enjoyed the murals.

    Retired Girl: Thanks for taking me to such a fun little town. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

    Gunilla: Vad roligt att hora av dig. Jag har foljt din blogg i ett tag nu och ser fram emot att fa folja den svenska varen hemma hos dig.

    Barbee: We have a lot of mural in our town here too. I plan to take photos and write about them some time this spring. I'm so glad you checked in again.

  6. Thanks for taking us along. Those murals are wonderful. I smiled at the packing of the oranges one. Here in the valley there are pear packing houses. Only a few are left these days, but when you described how each orange was wrapped in tissue paper, that is how the pears are packed. Instead of orange groves, we have pear and apple orchards. Well, sadly with each passing year they are dwindling due to more and more people moving here. Thanks again for taking us with you.

  7. I didn't know they still packed pears in tissue paper, that's neat. We have a lot of apple orchards in our valleys -- I think there are five distinct valleys in the Tehachapis and then there is our canyon, of course, where the juniper trees grow well.

  8. Thanks for taking me on your trip. Beautiful murals.

  9. Cattle Call Farm: You are so welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed the murals.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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