BY Monica Lambert
Visitors and locals walking or driving down Big Blue Road in Kernville will notice a stunning addition to the old Community Bank building, which now houses the Starhorse Gallery.
Recently, the building was painted with a Native American art mural.
“As you approach from Kernville Boulevard, you will first see the “Trading Post” vertical sign. Next to this is ‘The Courting Couple,’” artist Eddie Salazar told the Kern Valley Sun. “The ledger art was commissioned by gallery owner Louise Camille. Each part encompasses her unique vision.”
Using the ledger style of Native American art, Salazar worked for four months on the sides and front of the building. In the front is a wooden bench with a starhorse in the elongated art style. On the opposite side of the building is another “Trading Post” vertical sign. Then the wall comes to life with the “Courting Pow Wow.” Vivid colors jump from the scene.
There is one additional piece to come. Camille has commissioned her personal “Starhorse” medicine shield for further down the building’s side wall. It will include large wings where people can actually stand and take a photo that looks like they have wings.
In addition to working within Camille’s vision, Salazar is grateful to Maria Baker, his girlfriend/assistant of seven years.
“Once I am up on that scaffold, I don’t get up and down!” he said, laughing. “I am a big guy. Maria brings me what I need and anticipates that. It’s a big part of getting the job done and she has helped with ideas and work on some images as well.”
Salazar came to the Kern River Valley about a year and a half ago. Proud of his Mexican, Apache and Hopi heritages, Salazar enjoyed researching the Ledger style of art that Camille wanted, using these styles for creating the mural.
“I drew and studied, consulted Ms. Camille, drew some more, and it took on a life of its own.”