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Agriculture: Mural reveal

Safe Food Alliance hired artists Tamara Keiper and Rachel DeFrehn to create an agriculture-inspire mural for their reception area. The finished mural will be revealed on Oct. 11.

KINGSBURG – Artists Tamara Keiper and Rachel DeFrehn will reveal a mural they’ve created for Safe Food Alliance at a reception from 3-6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the office at 2037 Morgan Dive.

Dried Fruit Association of California is the parent company to Safe Food Alliance. Their office now houses the former Fresno-based South Valley Laboratory equipment and the DFA of California inspection services for dried fruit and tree nuts. The laboratory is triple the size of its previous Fresno location.

The artists will answer questions about their mural that’s been inspired by California agriculture during a reception that includes networking and refreshments.

Keiper came out of retirement to create this custom-designed mural for the lab’s reception area. While painting professionally in Southern California, Keiper specialized in custom trompe l’oeil murals which give the appearance of three dimensional qualities on flat surfaces. During her career, she developed her own formulas and techniques for using the air brush and air gun to create 3-D illusions in homes and businesses. A serious arm injury has forced her to scale down her work to smaller, frame-sized fine art, which she continues to this day.

Works by Keiper can be seen at the Natividad Hospital in Salinas, Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association and Central Coast Artists Association shows in Monterey and Pacific Grove. Her work is currently also on display at the Carolyn Huff Gallery in Modesto until Nov. 15.

DeFrehn is an experienced watercolor artist and has had a life-long interest in painting murals and studied faux surface effects in Kentucky.

Keiper asked DeFrehn to apprentice for her in creating the Safe Food Alliance mural and has worked three days a week to complete the mural.

The seven-week project began with research and creation of two concept drawings, followed by development of the chosen mural to a scaled rendering. The mural was transferred on to the curved surface which proved to be challenging as the rules of perspective changed when transferring the image from a flat painting to a rounded surface.

With the mural fully complete, the view constantly changes as you walk from one end of the curved wall to the other. 

Visitors must look closely to find a few creatures - from lady bugs to horses, dogs to cows, and people to rabbits - hidden within the painting.

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