Cory Calandra Devereaux
I painted my first San Francisco mural two months after arriving in the city. I did not paint again until many, Many, MANY years later, when I joined Precita Eyes Muralists Association, Inc. At that time, the organization was in the midst of its “Crate Labels” project for the Alemany Farmers Market.
The production of fruit crate labels began in the 1880’s, when growers switched from selling only to local markets to cross-country markets by shipping via trains. Growers first produced the labels to distinguish the fruit shipping crates, and the artwork eventually became advertising for the produce. The crates often served as store displays and also as branding tools. Production of these beautiful labels (created by largely unknown artists) continued into the 1970’s.
My crate label mural design is loosely based on the Lindsay olive can label. In three segments, the message comes alive in clear, bold and graphic letters and images. The left side of the label shows a tumbling pile of black olives with a pitcher of olive oil. The center piece tells it like it is: “California Olives Ripe”. The right side of the label features pimento stuffed green olives alongside a martini glass in which two speared olives float.
I set the mural aside while work and life got in the way. In some ways the mural benefits from my delays, incorporating some elements that represent my current artistic style. I modeled specific shapes and juxtaposed them with areas of flat bold color. I added definition and highlights by outlining with complimentary colors. To emphasize some strategic spots, I used heavy black outlines.
2019 was my year for finishing, and this mural is done! It is destined for the fence that surrounds the Alemany Farmers Market. Look for “Olives” when visiting the market in 2020 or 2021.