Local artist Dale Evers created and designed the archway
PASO ROBLES — After over two years in the making, an archway, created and designed by local artist Dale Evers, was installed over Norma’s Alley on Pine and 12th Street on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Norma’s Alley is home to Norma Moye’s place of work, the Paso Robles Main Street Association. Moye, as Evers describes her, is “the stuff of folklore.” She has made her mark in the Paso Robles community as the creator behind many annual events, including the Vine Street Christmas Victorian Showcase, and founder of the Paso Robles Area Historical Society.
“The business community does owe her a debt of gratitude,” Evers said, “She has done so much downtown to become the kind of success it is. She plays a silent role, but she does it.”
Originally, the archway was to be completed within six months. But due to COVID and other unforeseen issues, the archway was completed in just over two years. Evers says he also did not originally plan to add mosaic details to the project, but he says during its creation, the piece begged for mosaic. Being a mixed media artist, Evers gave the archway ornate details with iodized and dichroic glass mosaic pieces.
Sitting atop the archway is a rooster, which Evers says he gets so many questions on. Simply put, Evers said roosters are pretty cool.
“People say why is it a rooster,” he said. “Why not? Tell me why not. I am more interested in why not a rooster than I am why a rooster.”
An acorn sits below the rooster as a nod to El Paso de Robles or “The Pass of the Oaks.” The spoon and fork on the arch represent the evolution of food being added to Norma’s Alley. The alley has become home to Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ and new wine bars in recent years.
Evers, a long-time artist and business owner in Paso Robles, proposed the archway project to Paso Robles Director of Community Development Warren Frace. The project was unanimously approved by City Council on Dec. 3, 2020, and was privately funded by Hotel Cheval owners Robert and Sherry Gilson and local developer Nick Tompkins.
“I am very grateful to them,” says Evers, who was able to complete the project for a discounted rate using the donated funds.
Evers is looking to work with the city and local donors to bring more depth and art to downtown Paso Robles. He is especially excited to start on the plans proposed for Railroad Street.
In 2018 the City unveiled its plans for the Paso Railroad District. The district is mapped out for Railroad Street between 10th and 12th Street, behind the Park Cinemas Theater. Proposed projects in the area include an archway, historical murals, and unearthed railroad artifacts.
Visions for the Railroad Street archway are already brewing in Evers’s mind, “I just have to find out if the city can be as crazy as I am.”
Find more information on the Railroad District at prcity.com/755/Railroad-Street-Design-Plan