February 16, 2024

THE STORY BEHIND THE FORWARD REDDING MURAL IN DOWNTOWN REDDING, CA

The Forward Redding Mural by Telmo Miel on the Taroko building in downtown Redding, CA.

The sky was filled with smoke and ash as the Carr Fire ravaged Redding in 2018. Families fled the area, firefighters battled fire tornados, and the community watched in despair as parts of their city—and many of their homes—went up in flames.

But when the flames died down, the people of Redding chose to stand together.

What emerged from the ashes was a story of courage, compassion, and the resilience of Redding’s community spirit.

An outline of the mural of Taroko in Redding

Three years later, this stirring narrative has been memorialized in the vibrant mural that now graces downtown Redding. Titled “Forward Redding,” this larger-than-life artwork captures the way tragedy transformed into unity for this Northern California community.

The “Forward Redding” mural was created by internationally renowned Dutch duo Telmo Miel in 2023 to memorialize the Redding community coming together with remarkable courage, generosity, and collaboration during and after the devastating Carr Fire.

Paint Cans for the Forward Redding Mural

Tyler Linahan of Redding Arts spearheaded the mural project with the goal of celebrating the community’s resilience and identity. Linahan worked with Evoke Arts to bring in Telmo Miel, a pair of artists known for their photo-surrealistic public murals.

Taroko Mural in Redding, CA progress photos

Telmo Miel Painting a mural in Redding, CA

Redding Arts and Julie Winter, a Redding City Council Member, launched a private fundraising campaign to make the mural possible. They eventually joined forces with the Redding Chamber of Commerce’s downtown mural initiative as part of their Redding City Identity Project.

The project brought together numerous community partners, including the Forward Redding Foundation, Redding City Identity Project, Advance Redding, Viva Downtown, Visit Redding, and Evoke Arts.

Roller painting on the Taroko Mural

Through a remarkable grassroots effort, private citizens and organizations came together to raise crucial funding and support, including Cresco Rentals, Cascade Paint, Brent Weaver, and Julie Winter. Their generosity and civic pride brought Telmo Miel to Redding In March of 2023 to begin work on the enormous three-story mural in the heart of downtown.

Hand painting in Redding

The final piece is a celebration of human bonds that lift us up during adversity. With bold strokes and vibrant colors, “Forward Redding” captures the fighting spirit of a community that rose like a phoenix from the ashes. This mural now stands not just as public art but as a symbol of Redding’s courageous heart.

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