AP artists design mural

Parma Deli inspires Tuscan style art work.

Photo of Pharma mural with artists

Evan Hughes, Clayton Valley High School

Clayton Valley Charter art students Emma Postlethwaite, Kate Antonick, Arwen McCullough, and Alessandra Winters using their talents to give back to the community.

On Feb. 28, the city of Concord hosted a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of a community mural at Parma Delicatessen. The artwork was designed by Clayton Valley Charter High School AP Art students Kate Antonick, Arwen McCullough, Alessandra Winters, and Emma Postlethwaite.

Council Member Carlyn Obringer had initiated the community endeavor by reaching out to CVCHS Executive Director Jim Scheible to see if any art students had interest in painting a full wall mural for Parma Deli. Evan Hughes who teaches AP Drawing and 2D Design at CVCHS informed his students of this opportunity.

The inspiration for the visual was offered up by Parma Deli’s owner, Mary Totah, who said she wanted a Tuscan-esque winery feel in order to perfectly complement the rustic decor inside of the restaurant. From there, the students were allowed to run wild with their imaginations. 

Emma Postlethwaite, a senior, proposed the picnic-and-truck concept because she wanted to spice things up. Postlethwaite explained that she has seen many strictly landscape murals in the past, and although beautiful, she wanted to add something interesting to the scenic view. 

After the students had a rough idea of what they wanted to bring to life and received the go ahead, they began sketching the terrain on Parma Deli’s west wall with colored pencils as their medium of choice. Meeting up in the early mornings of each week on Sunday, the dedicated artists finished the Parma Deli Mural within one month. Funding of paint and art supplies by Concord Tap House co-owner Keith Burks made this undertaking possible.

The mural was a hit and sparked the interest of other El Monte or “Midtown” Shopping Center storefronts. The Stealth Sports Center is next in line, eagerly awaiting an art-filled wall of their own. 

Outside of local business decorating, Hughes said that there are other students who intend to start yet another mural located on the Clayton Valley campus. The students of Clayton Valley are bursting at the seams to use their artistic abilities and have had their artistic visions awakened by this project, he said. 

For instance, Postlewaithe mentioned how working on the wall art made her realize just how much she enjoys mural painting. She hopes to be involved in similar projects. These community efforts are a great way for the younger generation to give back to the community and gain valuable experience so they may pursue careers in the art field if they so choose.

Parma Delicatessen is a family-owned restaurant that was established in 1988 and is known for their pleasant customer service and delectable sandwiches. Mary Totah said that you can find her working at the deli six days a week alongside her three sons, Sam, Mark, and Chris. 

This article originally appeared in The Concord Clayton Pioneer newspaper and The Talon, the student news site of Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord.