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Fundraiser set to help save LP Art

August 2, 2012

This “Gateway to the Sierra” vinyl wrap on the Pittsburgh Plate and Glass tank ,nine miles south of Lone Pine, has been replaced twice due to shredding and fading by the stark Owens Valley winds and sun. Each replacement costed $2,000, prompting the current fundraising efforts to make the mural permanent. Photo by Marlene Cierniak

Work and business attire and western, outdoor and casual wear will be featured at a fashion show fundraiser event next month.
Local businesses, organizations and artists are teaming up to realize the goal of the event – a fashion show, luncheon, silent auction, raffle and drawing – to make the “Gateway to the Sierra” mural south of Lone Pine a permanent fixture for the enjoyment of travelers, mural-lovers and locals alike.
Lone Pine Community Association treasurer Marlene Cierniak expressed gratitude for local and out-of-area contributions for previous projects and hopes that they will be joined by the rest of the community for the association’s current project – putting a permanent version of the “Gateway to the Sierra” mural by artist Marian Seiter, on the old Pittsburgh Plate and Glass tank, located nine miles south of Lone Pine. The goal is to raise $10,000 for the project which will be seen by north-bound travelers to Lone Pine, said Cierniak.
The fashion show, which is the first mural fundraiser, will be held Saturday, Sept. 8 from 1-3:30 p.m. at the Mt.Whitney Golf Course, 2559 S. Main St., Lone Pine, (760) 876-5795. The $10 ticket price includes a salad and potato bar with all the fixings, and several homemade desserts, courtesy of Lone Pine merchants’ sponsorship, said Cierniak. The entry ticket also comes with a chance to win any one of “30 wonderful gifts,” she added.
Prizes include: a 250 PSI air compressor, donated by Dave’s Auto Parts; 1.75 liter Barcardi and 1.75 liter Black Velvet, donated by Lee’s Frontier; a treasure trove of household pottery items, donated by Aibonito; an Eastern Sierra Mural T-shirt, donated by Seiter; jewelry, donated by Country Scents; a complete Martin fly fishing kit, donated by Lone Pine Sporting Goods; a Nebo 5519 CSI Edge LED flashlight, donated by High Sierra Outfitters; two $50 gift certificates, donated by Lone Pine Propane; pottery, donated by the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce; a decorative picture frame and a wind chime, donated by Lone Pine Rock Shop; 50 pounds of wild bird seed, donated by Lone Pine Feed Store; a one-night stay, donated by Comfort Inn; a $20 gift certificate, donated by Espresso Parlor; two hours of yard service and one car wash, donated by Brian Gandara; a four-tire rotation and tire inspection, donated by Miller’s Towing; a $100 gift certificate, donated by Gardner’s Hardware; two $25 gift certificates, donated by Pizza Factory; and a basket, donated by the United States Postal Service.
There will also be a silent auction of three gift baskets – a beauty care basket, donated by Veda’s Hair Salon; a “Grandmothers Basket,” made by Linda Hubbs; and the Ultimate Bar-B-Que Basket, donated by Mr. Stubbs Legendary Kitchen. In addition, a butterfly-design quilt will be raffled off, said Margaret Warner, Lone Pine Community Association president.
The fundraising effort supports the revitalization of a mural that has “become iconic,” said Seiter of “Gateway to the Sierra.” “We get calls from people; they miss seeing the mural … On some websites, it’s featured as the opening picture, welcoming people to the Eastern Sierra,” said Seiter. It is even featured in a book on water tank designs, she added.
The Eastern Sierra icon had it’s genesis in 2006, when Seiter collaborated with students of the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone community to create a mural that celebrates the natural environment and Native folklore. The 18-foot by 30-foot mural features “Little Lake,” a painting which depicts “the origin of the people” and “Mt. Whitney” which is “the old one,” both originals by Seiter, and “Winnahduma,” which means “stand right there on the crest,” a painting by Sieter’s son, artist Max Sullivan. Seiter’s son and graphic artist Ashley Seiter, combined the paintings with triangular symbols from Sequoia basketry and angular basketry designs, which are meant to be symbolic of mountains.
“With much cooperation from local business and from Department of Water Power,” said Cierniak, “the tank was prepared and the vinyl wrap was mounted.” Nature will out, however, and the original vinyl wrap version of the mural twice succumbed to the ravages of the Owens Valley’s shredding winds and searing sun at a cost of $2,000 each time, Cierniak said.
Seiter said she and her team of artists plan to use the old vinyl wrap, digitally produced by Lamar Sign Company, as a template for the new permanent “Gateway to the Sierra.” Starting the mural six feet off the ground and taking temperatures into account, the expensive undertaking will require primer, the proper oil-based paints, scaffolding, a lift rental and so on. Hoping to start in the fall, finances and weather permitting, Seiter, working with her sons and other local artists, anticipates a spring 2013 completion, she said. Interested artists should contact Seiter at (760) 793-7115.
For event tickets, contact Carin at Alpine Signs, 263 S. Main St., Bishop; Karen at Lone Pine Film History Museums;, Alta One, 111 Mountain View Ln., Lone Pine; Margaret Warner (760) 876-4208 between 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday; Marlene Cierniak at (760) 876-5526; or the Southern Inyo Museum, 127 W. Bush St., Lone Pine, open Thursday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on Sept. 8.

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