Ashland's sister city, Guanajuato, will soon see a new mural painted depicting the landmarks of Ashland, echoing a mural of Guanajuato landmarks completed on Calle Guanajuato in Ashland in June 2016.

The theme of the Guanajuato mural will be "Ashland — Where Culture Meets Nature." The mural will be 75 feet long and 12 feet high at the end of Paseo Ashland, one of the major entrance streets to the Guanajuato downtown.

Denise Baxter has been selected to create the painting. Baxter is the former director of the Ashland Art Center and was the mural artist who painted the 50-foot long mural on the side of the Ashland Emergency Food Bank building.

Baxter will be assisted by four art students attending the University of Guanajuato. Work on the mural will begin April 1 and is scheduled to be completed by Cinco de Mayo (May 5).

The new mural complements the mural of Guanajuato at the entrance to Calle Guanajuato, across from Lithia Park, which was designed and painted by Loretta, a well-known Guanajuato artist who goes by one name. It has become a favorite touring and photo spot for visitors and locals alike.

Guanajuato, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It was built on the wealth of silver, gold and culture. At one point in time it was the capital city of Mexico. Magnificent art and architecture abound.

Guanajuato is particularly famous for its murals and mural artists. World-renowned mural artist Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato, and there is an entire museum there dedicated to his work.

Edgar Castro Cerrillo, president of the Municipality of Guanajuato, provided a letter stating that the new mural wall location has been fully approved with unanimous vote of the Guanajuato City Council. Juan Carlos Delgado Zarate, a city councilor, has said, "Guanajuato is a city that loves art and artists, and awaits this new work of art with great excitement."

The mural projects in both Ashland and in Guanajuato were initiated by Ashland residents Kathryn and Barry Thalden, who have sponsored and coordinated both projects.

“The murals are intended to celebrate public art and our Sister City,” says Barry Thalden.

Amigo Club members in both Ashland and Guanajuato have been intimately involved in the process. They will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sister City

relationship in 2018 and 2019.

Kathryn Thalden said, “This is a different kind of wall between the U.S. and Mexico. These are not walls that separate, but walls that bring people and countries together in peace, love, and respect.”