Parkway Plaza’s official 50th anniversary is Monday, Oct. 3. As part of its commemorations of 50 years in El Cajon, Parkway Plaza is celebrating with a mural which will be included in an 8×8 foot painted cube that will become an artistic fixture at Parkways’ main plaza. Two sides of the cube will feature a hand-painted mural that tells a story of Parkway’s most memorable moments throughout the years and the other two sides will contain historical information and photos, as a tribute to the local community.
Muralist Lulu Yueming will begin the process of live painting the mural starting Wednesday, June 8, and working through Sunday, June 12. On June 11 and 12 from 2-5 p.m., locals are invited to dedicated painting days to add their personal touches.
Parkway Plaza’s Marketing and Business Development Manager Petra Rich said in looking for some “fun and cool” things that Parkway Plaza could do in celebration of 50 years, it popped into her mind that a mural should be part of its Golden Anniversary.
“It signifies and represents the history of not only Parkway Plaza, but of El Cajon, because we would not be anything without the East County community,” she said. “We wanted to put something together that celebrated the community as a whole and everything that has driven us to become the mall that we have become over the last 50 years.”
Rich said they wanted something for people to enjoy, not just for one day, but a long-standing fixture that people could come and enjoy at minimum for the rest of the year.
“It is really cool because we are not putting the mural directly on a wall,” she said. “On one side it will be a celebration of all the huge moments at Parkway Plaza in particular, family shopping, Halloween events, an ode to our large Chaldean community, as well as featuring families and people enjoying movies at the mall. On the other side, we wanted to create a sense of place, so it will have El Cajon spelled out and in inside of the letters will be monumental moments and significant things to East County. We will be featuring the Lakeside Rodeo, The Mother Goose Parade, Gillespie Field, because we want to feature things that make East County great and makes our community as great as it is. And, making sure that the East County community is included because everybody from East County and beyond has been and had an experience here.”
Rich said she was connected to Yueming through Art Reach San Diego, which works primarily with schools and students throughout San Diego County, and that they have made murals all through the city. Yueming is a California based illustrator who has done art from Beijing to New York to San Diego.
“They connected me with Lulu because she primarily does drawings of places, of cities. She is a community-based artist,” she said. “She has a really good feel for the San Diego community as a whole and her placemaking art, being able to take a city view and capture it and make the community come to life through her artwork is absolutely amazing.”
Rich said it is hosting the community paint day on June 11 and 12 and is inviting the community to come help the artist paint the mural.
“The community can come out and put their mark on the mural,” she said. “It was important to us to involve the community in the actual painting of the mural because they are a huge part of the history of Parkway Plaza.”
Rich said due to limited space, registration to participate in the community painting is required. To register, visit https://bit.ly/ParkwayPlazaMural.