A crowd gathered under the Samoa Bridge near Halvorsen Park Saturday afternoon to enjoy food, local vendors and music to celebrate the latest batch of murals to grace our city as part of the fifth annual Eureka Street Art Festival.
Jenna Catsos, one of the festival’s organizers, said she was thrilled with how this year’s murals turned out. She didn’t yet have an idea of how many people attended today’s party, but said it seemed like a great turnout and was excited that so many community members – vendors, volunteers and attendees – made it to the event.
“I would call it a clear, 100 percent success,” Katsos said Outpost during the festival on Saturday afternoon. “There are so many different ways to measure the success of an event like this, and one of them is putting the murals on the wall. Control! A big festival has so many moving tracks, but…everyone came down here and heard it somehow. So I would call it a great success.”
The Eureka Street Art Festival – a week-long event promoting public art – launched in 2018, focusing on adding new murals to Old Town. Choosing a different location each year, the event has helped bring live art to the downtown Henderson Center and Fourth and Fifth streets. This year, the festival featured 11 different artists from around the country and focused on the north end of Eureka, bringing art to the Waterfront Trail, the 101 corridor and the bottom of the Samoa Bridge.
This year’s location was suggested by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), which approached festival organizers with the idea of decorating the Samoa Bridge, Katsos said. The organizers then selected a few other nearby walls and surfaces in the surrounding areas to tie into the bridge murals.
“I feel like this is the beginning of an incredible relationship with Caltrans,” Katsos said, adding that festival organizers and Caltrans will likely continue to work together when selecting sites for future festivals.
The festival has continued throughout COVID, with the last two years featuring a social distancing mural. But this is the first time since 2019 that the festival has included a block party event to celebrate the completion of the murals. Katsos said the team was a little rusty, but because the party is held in a different location each year, there are always new logistics to figure out. She was very excited to have the event held in such a unique location this year and hopes it will be the first of many outdoor events under the Samoa Bridge.
Katsos wanted to give a shout out to the other organizers – Swan Asbury, Deputy Financial Planner for the City of Eureka and Michelle Cartledge, owner of Humboldt Cider Company – who helped this event grow and thrive. He also wanted to thank the community for their continued support of the Eureka Street Art Festival.
“When people come out for events, they come out for art walks, they show excitement on social media – that’s why we keep going,” Katsos told the Outpost. “Invest your energy and enthusiasm into things you like in the community, because that’s what keeps them going.”
If you’re reading this post in time, the party under the bridge will continue until 6pm
Under Outpost’Andrew Goff spent some time away from ESAF this week and was able to take pictures of every artist participating this year. Meet them now.
Crescent City, California
“Surf and Turf”
Santa Rosa, California
-GINA ELIZABETH FRANCO-
Greensboro, North Carolina
“View from the old town”
Los Angeles, California
“The seeds plant us”
Rochester, New York
“A Place to Land”
Need more murals? Lucky for you, local AA Part 107 commercial drone pilot Chad Johnson took a trip to the Samoa Bridge mural landscape this week and passed along some impressive aerial footage he captured. Go through the colors with him below.