"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Northern California Artists Paint Masonic Mural

Photo: (George Johnston — Daily News)

by Christopher Hodapp

NOTE: This post has been edited to credit artist Carl Avery who designed this particular mural.

A volunteer group of graphic artists has pooled their talents to cover the exterior walls of their northern California town with public art, and the local Masonic lodge is the newest beneficiary.

The group calling itself Tehama Creatives has just completed a Masonic mural on the wall of Red Bluff's Vesper Lodge 34. The design was created by artist Carl Avery and it's one of several that almost completely line an alley in Red Bluff's downtown area. Tehama Creatives consult with the building owners on the designs, and they hope to eventually adorn every building in the alleyway. They just need funding and the building owners’ approval before doing so.

It started with a gathering, a convening of artists who wanted to connect, inspire and be inspired. “We wanted to see the creatives get together,” says Athena Dyer, an original convener of what has become Tehama Creatives. It didn’t take more than a few meetups at what are now affectionately referred to as Drink and Draws for Tehama Creatives to become a firebrand group dedicated to public art and community connection.

This burgeoning art movement in Red Bluff has cultivated enough energy to paint an alley with murals, transform drab downtown planters into vibrant works of art and connect artists to each other. “It’s starting to have practical applications to deal with issues in our community,” says Tehama Creative Michelle Carlson, also an educator, who notes that incidents of tagging are down where art goes up.
“With the Drink and Draw comes the dreaming,” says Carlson, who values the group for pulling her out of isolation exploring her artistic expression. The bi-weekly gatherings at Cedar Crest Brewery in downtown Red Bluff fueled her creative fire and introduced her to kindred spirits. “We’ve carved out a little safe space for people to be artists,” she adds. “It’s providing momentum.”
This is a terrific idea for any town or neighborhood, especially today with so many talented artists connecting with each other online. And I'm guessing if you told a creative artist today that your lodge is interested, there's enough Masonic symbolism to supercharge any artist's imagination. If you have a suitable blank wall on your lodge hall, why not offer it up as a blank canvas? A mural is far more likely to catch the eye of curious non-Masons than just a sign in the yard or a square and compass over the front door. (Check with your local zoning board first for any signage codes that might prevent this.) 

Here are some more photos from artist Carl Avery's Facebook page.

Artist Carl Avery's Facebook page has more photos of the project,
including this wide shot of the completed work posted by Forrest Stamper.

Artist Carl Avery at work painting

Looking for inspiration? here are some previous stories of murals - both interior and exterior - from other lodges around the U.S.:


  1. I would love it if my lodge had something like that, but (sadly) it would be graffiti bait, just like our plain brick wall is.

    Doug Price
    Scurry Lodge #706 (TX)

  2. we at vesper lodge have not had any graffiti on the mural since it was finished. some type of code among criminals I guess? respecting someone else's art .. It was a big topic of discussion within our Lodge but we haven't been "tagged" yet.

  3. I am willing to join


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