Grass Valley Planning Commission OKs Memorial Park mural |

Grass Valley Planning Commission OKs Memorial Park mural

Nevada Union senior Autumn Gallagher shows off her initial design for the mural she wants to paint on a pump house inside Memorial Park in this file photo. The current design eliminates the American Legion seal in the middle.
Liz Kellar/

Grass Valley’s planning commission gave a unanimous thumbs-up to a patriotic mural proposed by a Nevada Union High School student for her senior project.

The public work of art to be painted by Autumn Gallagher would cover one wall of an 1960s-era cement-block pump house in the back section of Memorial Park and will feature a patriotic theme, with an American flag as the backdrop and a circle of Armed Forces seals. She has been working on the project since last fall and hopes to complete the project this summer.

Gallagher met with Will Buck of the Nevada City Veterans of Foreign Wars, who made some design revision suggestions and then took it to Nevada County Consolidated Veterans Council for approval. The mural was approved by the city’s Development Review Committee with several conditions, including receiving trademark approval, power-washing the building first and applying an anti-graffiti coating.

On Tuesday, Gallagher and mentor Haven Caravelli, along with Buck, presented the mural proposal to the planning commission. Caravelli, responding to some community concern, assured the commissioners that a seasoned muralist would guide Gallagher through the painting process.

Several citizens had emailed comments regarding the mural’s theme and aesthetic value. But at the hearing, Gallagher’s idea received nothing but praise.

“I think this is the most love a CMU (concrete block) building has (ever) received,” said commission chairman Greg Bulanti.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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