Valley Oak Credit Union celebrates new Visalia Community Mural
A year in the making, Valley Oak Credit Union, local Tulare County artist Joseph Cabello, along with representatives from the Visalia Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations celebrate a new mural honoring the Visalia community.
On Thursday, August 10, 2023, Valley Oak Credit Union hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony in celebration of their new mural located on the exterior of their Visalia branch location found at the intersection of North Willis Street and West Main Street, Visalia. The mural is a representation of the local community, its people, rich connections, and the Credit Union’s overall mission of being rooted in the growth of Visalians.
“As part of the Visalia community since the early nineties, Valley Oak Credit Union has always been focused on the financial health and well-being of our members from generation to generation,” explains Alan Cortum, President and CEO of Valley Oak Credit Union. “We set out to find a local artist who could bring our vision of representing all the Visalia community has meant and continues to mean to us – finding that right fit with Joseph Cabello.”
The mural represents the passing of love, learnings, and legacy from one generation to the other with the showing of an adult hand passing a single poppy flower (California’s state flower) to a younger child’s hands. The hands are in black/white while the poppy has an almost electric orange coloring with the roots touching the adult’s fingers slowing building in vibrancy, translating to stronger color on the roots of the child. The mural’s statement “Rooted in Visalia” in the same vibrant color as the poppy expresses Valley Oak Credit Union’s commitment to all within the Visalia community.
“I thank Valley Oak Credit Union not only for this opportunity, but specifically for taking a chance on the design because it is different than the trend I’ve noticed with other murals in the Central Valley,” said mural artist Joseph Cabello. “They are always beautiful to see, but art is like a direct documentation of a time period, of a mindset,” Cabello continues. “And something like this that is more expressive and a little bit more creative – let community artists roam free and give them the opportunity to represent themselves and the local community. You don’t know how long we’ll be here and every piece an artist does is one less they have in their bank.”
The Credit Union was honored to receive recognition from the County of Tulare Board of Supervisors and the California Legislature Assembly for the mural achievement.
“I appreciate the support of our community and partners in making this day possible,” said Vally Oak’s Visalia Branch Manager, Veronica Aguayo. “I am proud of the artist and appreciative of his work. For me, the mural is a symbol of protection, guidance, and care for the younger generation. As Valley Oak approaches 80 years of serving our members, there is no better way to honor the legacy of our Credit Union,” Aguayo concludes.
“Seeing everyone come out and support Valley Oak Credit Union was heartfelt, and hearing the artist talk about pushing the limit a bit with this particular art we allowed him to do on our building made me proud,” explains Valley Oak’s Executive Vice President, Kiersty Vaughan. “It was fun to host and serve others and celebrate this mural. It’s such a great feeling to have a location we can be proud of and share with the community.”
After the mural ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were invited into the Credit Union’s branch for light food, drinks and a cake representing the mural and words “Thank you Visalia, Thank you Members”.