MURAL LAND: It was not a surprise to too many SoCalers and Central Coast denizens that Ventura County topped a big 'n lovely countrywide list in the Washington Post. The list had to do with "natural amenities" and how many a particular county might boast (things like reasonable humidity and not-too-daunting winters helped a place rank high).
Ventura County took the number one spot, which is nothing to sniff at, given that 3,111 counties in all were considered. It's totally true that Ventura has those rolling hills and those soft beaches and sunsets that deserve a beautiful, understated frame, the better not to compete with the hues seen in the sky. But it boasts some spectacular hues on the ground, too, that are worth applauding, and a few new notable ones showed up in July. A new "cultural mural project" that has, at its heart, a Cuba-to-California connection, made its awesome and awesomely over-sized debut during the 22nd annual Artwalk Ventura, an event that unfurled over the third weekend in July.
50 W. MAIN STREET: The good thing, of course, is that like all murals, or mostly all, at least, this eye-popping, dance-tastic, celebratory work was painted to remain up, and on view, for long after the artwalk closed. And so anyone who is visiting downtown Ventura may admire artist Pedro Pulido's grand-scale "Havana to Ventura" mural. The mural came together under the artful organization of local muralist MB Hanrahan, and several of her Vita Art Center students picked up a brush and helped make it a reality. Cuban historian Victor Pina was also instrumental in making this vibrant new addition to the Ventura cultural district a camera-ready reality.
WANT TO STRIKE A POSE... before the mural's dancers or flowers or other delightful details? It's located in one of the city's most walkable areas, so you can't miss it. Add this art-nice mural to the nature of Ventura County and you have a region that has many a heart-biggening, spirit-lifting category well-covered. Nature and art -- you go, V.C.