CATHEDRAL CITY — On July 24, Cathedral City can toast two hometown heroes — World Boxing Champion Tim Bradley and Mixed Martial Arts and Ultimate Fighting Championship Competitor Kevin Luke “Cub” Swanson — who will be immortalized in a larger-than-life mural in the community.

Rick Rodriguez, a local muralist and artist, who has created many magnificent murals throughout the Coachella Valley, has been commissioned to paint the mural in the heroes’ hometown. He began work on Tuesday, July 10 and is expected to have it completed on Tuesday, July 24.

The Arts Commission at its Dec. 11. 2017, meeting, approved the design for the mural honoring Swanson and Bradley at 68571 E. Palm Canyon Drive, along East Palm Canyon Drive and across from the City’s Festival Lawn in downtown. An allocation of $5,000 from the public arts fund will pay for the artist. Some $250 per touch up for damage has also been set aside, according to minutes of the Arts Commission meeting.

Rodriguez has created a stunning and contemporary mural based on the vision and direction of local community leader and business owner Jaime Jimenez of One Eleven Conditioning Club. The purpose of the piece is to inspire the community into positive, goal-oriented action and one of following your dreams. Both Bradley and Swanson began their careers in Cathedral City and have catapulted into global spotlight as the best in their respective sports, thus the Local Legacy Mural. This mural will be the catalyst and first step in a broader vision to transform the blank white wall and dirt lot into a symbol of hope and inspiration, not only for the city’s youth but to all who travel East Palm Canyon.  “When I heard about the Local Legacy Mural program, my first thought was to pay tribute to Tim Bradley and Cub Swanson,” Jaime Jimenez said in a prepared statement.  “These two Cathedral City super stars manifest the American Dream of accomplishing dreams no matter the excuses, hurdles, or setbacks. Their examples of physical exertion and goal oriented focus should forever serve our community!”

Although their paths to victory were different, Tim and Cub faced many challenges that would have stopped some others in their tracks and caused them to give up.

“Tim Bradley and Cub Swanson overcame significant barriers throughout their lives, but each rose to athletic excellence through hard work, determination, and strength,” Mayor Stan Henry said.  “Having their images placed at a prominent location in our downtown will spotlight their achievements and serve as inspiration for those who dream of reaching stardom.”

Both Bradley and Swanson grew up in Cathedral City and went to Cathedral City High School to become hometown heroes.  Throughout their careers, Bradley achieved five world boxing championships in two weight classifications and Swanson earned multiple honors including “Fight of the Year” and “Knockout of the Night” for bouts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship arena.

“It’s exciting to bridge the world of sports with the world of art,” said Public Arts Commission Chair Alan Carvalho. “This action mural, recognizing these two international sports figures, enlivens an ordinary white wall in our downtown into an electrifying work of art for the world to admire.”

Carvalho told Uken Report this is the kickoff event that will start a citywide mural art campaign working with businesses and corporations to enhance community student art projects.

“The next step is to start murals in our local parks where young artists can express their creativity and take personal pride in hometown neighborhood murals,” Carvalho said.

Public Arts Commission members are Sue Townsley, Carvalho, Denise Rodriguez Bowman, Wendy Willson and Christian Sesma.

Hometown Heroes Immortalized in Cathedral City

Rick Rodriguez began Tuesday, July 10 painting the Hometown Heroes mural.