Auburn Arts Commission aims to beautify city

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
-A +A
Quality art reflects a quality community. That’s the mentality behind the Auburn Arts Commission, an eight-person board that reports to Auburn’s City Council and aims to enhance the city’s beauty. “Our focus is art in Auburn and looking at improving it any way we can,” said Randy Mealhow, Auburn Arts Commission chairman. The commission’s projects and interests include commissioning murals and scheduling live music for the Auburn Art Walk. One commissioner serves on Auburn’s Streetscape committee. “We are tasked with finding permanent, three-dimensional art for Central Square,” Mealhow said. “How do you get large pieces of art when you don’t have much funding to work with? While it’s challenging, there are ways cities do this. To me it’s like reading a novel and you don’t know how the ending’s going to be but it holds your interest.” The commission is also in charge of beautifying Auburn’s headquarters by way of arranging shows for the City Hall Art Gallery. The current show features creations by current and former Auburn Arts Commission members, and will be open to the public through April 19. “I thought, that’s a great idea, we might as well show what we can do,” Mealhow said of the current exhibit. Ernylla England is among former members whose art is on display during the show. She thinks fondly about her time served on the Auburn Arts Commission. “I was interested in promoting art in Auburn,” England said. “Everything they do is wonderful.” Mariko Leonard, a former member who enjoys painting, said her involvement with the commission stemmed from a desire to pursue opportunities for local artists. “I was interested in different places where artists can express themselves and show their works,” she said. “I was interested in seeing if more businesses would be interested in showing art. It was fun to find different people who were willing to show different forms of art.” The Auburn Arts Commission seeks two new members. The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month, starting at 8:15 a.m., in room 10 of Auburn City Hall, 1225 Lincoln Way. Call (530) 823-6027 to learn more about joining the commission. Reach Loryll Nicolaisen at