Bothwell Arts Center is a beehive of activity, with art and dance classes, workshops, rehearsal space and productions, but on the outside it looked like just another ho-hum industrial building -- until Sierra Randel got her hands on it.
Randel developed and executed a plan to paint a striking mural on the back of the building, at 2466 Eighth St. in Livermore, for her Girl Scout Gold Award project. The mural depicts a zipper opening to "unzip" the building, allowing symbols to spill out that represent all the arts, such as paint brushes, a violin, dancers and drama masks.
She began the project in summer 2018 under the guidance of Bothwell manager Anne Giancola, who worked as her adviser, and overall she devoted more than 100 hours toward its completion.
First Randel and Giancola identified the project problem: Despite being a busy arts center, it lacked visual identity and presence. Randel concluded that a colorful, large-scale mural on the side facing Bothwell Park would give the building an identity as well as add color to the industrial neighborhood.
Randel solicited donations of paint and other supplies, worked a booth during the 2018 ArtWalk Livermore, and eventually led a team of 11 volunteers to paint the mural. She filmed more than 60 hours of the mural coming to life, which she edited into an 11-minute video now on YouTube titled "Unzipping the Arts."
Before and after the project, Randel interviewed 50 random people at Bothwell Park to see how they perceived the building. Before the mural, many knew nothing about the arts center; afterward all 50 interviewed could identify its purpose. Many also responded that the mural is a cheerful addition to the park.
Randel, a member of Troop 30049, service unit 332, officially earned the Girl Scouts Gold Award in June 2019 for her mural project.