For 39 years, the old Weathervane Western Wear, located at 225 Oak Street in Brentwood, CA was not only one of Brentwood’s longest-running mom-and-pop shops; it was a staple of the downtown Brentwood business district. The last several years have seen small changes to the building. However, the one thing that has remained strong is building owner Helen Myers’ commitment to the arts, the local economy, and supporting a community she has grown to love.
Today, if you walk down Oak Street and pass by the old Weathervane building, you will see the exterior wall is becoming a breathtaking urban canvas. Myers knows murals beautify cities and bring social-media-savvy shoppers downtown. What better way to continue her support of the growth of the historic downtown Brentwood district than being a trailblazer in a new community art mural program?
A Pioneer in Business and Real Estate Investments
Mrs. Myers dedicated nearly forty years to running a business in the Historic Downtown Brentwood corridor as a female entrepreneur and real estate investor with vision beyond her generation. Her journey began with a purchase of Irene’s Dress Shop, with the explicit purpose of becoming a member of the Brentwood chapter of the Sorportismists in 1976. From that initial purchase of the dress shop, Mrs. Myers transitioned the dress shop, the beloved staple of downtown Brentwood, The Weathervane, without any knowledge of retail. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to invest in downtown Brentwood’s development through the purchase of commercial buildings. Her mind for business and growth was only exemplified through her passions and commitment to community service.
Focused on Community Giving and Social Improvement
Mrs. Myers laid the path for much of Brentwood’s current commitment to giving, education, arts, and business growth. She was an early member of the Soroptimist Service Club, sat as an inaugural member of the Brentwood Art Commissioner, helped to bring art into the schools through the Brentwood Art Commission, was an active member of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce and served as the Vice-Chair to the committee dedicated to fundraising efforts to build the first Brentwood Community Center. In fact, in 2008, Mrs. Myers was recognized as Citizen of the Year for her entrepreneurial and social contributions to the overall growth and development of Brentwood.
There is no doubt that Mrs. Myers played a pivotal role in helping Brentwood grow from a tiny little town of less than a thousand people to a community focused on giving, small business, and the arts with well over 60,000 inhabitants today. Although she is retired, enjoying time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Mrs. Myers recently donated the side of a commercial building, located in the Historic Downtown corridor to a mural program that supports downtown beautification goals and promotes tourism. Prior, Mrs. Myers generously worked with the City of Brentwood and permitted the back of her building, located at 225 Oak, to house the electrical panels which power the beautiful trees that light the downtown corridor.
Celebrating Heritage With An Urban Art Mural
In the age of Instagram, Facebook, and memory-making ‘selfies, ‘ many communities have recognized that mural art projects can establish community bonds in city centers. They are also attractive marketing opportunities to attract people to shop, eat, drink, and enjoy downtown corridors because the murals act as fun backdrops. Although retired, Mrs. Myers recognizes the need to continually bring people downtown to enjoy the retailers and eateries downtown. She explained, “Might as well be part of something fun downtown for the people to enjoy!” When the Board of Directors of the Downtown Brentwood Coalition proposed the mural project, she was eager to participate. Although 225 Oak is no longer the home of the beloved Weathervane, Mrs. Helen Myers continues her commitment to community, art, and the downtown corridor hopeful it is something people will enjoy for decades to come.
Visit The Mural in Downtown Brentwood
The mural will be complete by September of 2020. However, a quick visit downtown will show you an incredible work of art in progress. The mural, designed and painted by local muralist Lorin Baeta, owner of Letterly. A grant awarded to the Downtown Brentwood Coalition, approved by the esteemed Brentwood City Council, will cover the costs of the mural, funded by City of Brentwood Economic Development Grant, allotted to attract people to visit the downtown shopping corridor and promote agro-tourism. The mural will feature the majestic Mt. Diablo in the background and have Brentwood-centrist wings for people to pause, pose, and post to social media. This fun community art installation is only possible due to the hard work of the Downtown Brentwood Colation, currently led by President Peter Jacoway, the commitment of Helen Myers, and the City of Brentwood’s funding.
Once you are downtown, check out the progression on Brentwood’s first urban canvas in the Historic Downtown Corridor, and stop by your favorite restaurant, bar, or retailer. Even amid restrictions placed by COVID-19, downtown Brentwood is a space worth visiting with appropriate social-distancing guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable downtown experience.
Transformation of the Wall