A Labor of Love
Oct 04, 2017 11:21AM
● By Elena Hutslar
Mural spearheaded by Colleen Gianatiempo and Dena Beti
A Labor of Love
#HERSMILE Announces Community Mural Project Ribbon Cutting
On December 18, 2015, the Martinez City Council approved the recommendation from the Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission (PRMCC) to allow a community mural to be painted in the Main Street Plaza. The mural was conceived and spearheaded by local Martinez residents Colleen Gianatiempo and Dena Betti as a way to thank the residents of Martinez for the outpouring of love and support the Betti Family continues to receive since the tragic passing of their 14-year-old daughter Jenna, who died in a train accident in March of 2014.
The Small Town With A Big Heart community mural project will celebrate its completion on October 13 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30pm. The ceremony will take place at the mural walls, located between Starbucks Coffee and the old Bank of America building on Main Street in Martinez. The artist, Colleen Gianatiempo, Betti Family, city officials, and community members will be in attendance.
It has taken one year to complete the project, sponsored by #HERSMILE Nonprofit, an organization founded in honor of Jenna Betti. Artist Colleen Gianatiempo spent several hundred hours designing, mapping out, and painting the project. Gianatiempo managed over 80 community mural volunteers over the course of the year. “At the time,” she said, “I didn’t stop to think that my desire to help the Betti family remember their daughter Jenna would also be healing for so many other people. But what has happened is the walls have taken on a personal meaning. Many of us struggle with the loss of our loved ones. The walls have been a special symbol of our undying love and remembrance for those who have passed before us, and for many it also symbolizes our family love.”
The community project was funded by the purchasing of personalized clay hearts that are permanently affixed to the mural, leaving a family's mark for generations to come. For more information about the #HERSMILE Nonprofit, please visit www.hersmile.org.
For additional information, contact Michelle Foxworthy at #HERSMILE, [email protected], (925) 209-7538.