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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | NORTH: ANAHEIM

Julie Mayer; Helped Shape Art Community

September 29, 1998|DEBRA CANO

Julie Mayer, a driving force behind the city's public art programs, has died. She was 52.

Mayer, an artist, died Sunday at her Anaheim home after a long battle with a rare form of cancer.

"It's a loss to the whole community," said Councilwoman Shirley McCracken. "There's certainly going to be a void."

Mayer, a small-business owner, was appointed to the Planning Commission in 1993 and served as chairwoman in 1995-96. She served on the city's Budget Advisory Commission in 1991-92.

For more than 25 years, Mayer was a tireless community volunteer. She was a member of the Anaheim Arts Council since its inception in 1977 and served as council president from 1993 to '95.

Six years ago, she founded the Anaheim Children's Festival, an arts program for young students.

"She was virtually involved in every arts project in Anaheim, and that is not an exaggeration," said friend Janet Brown, who worked with Mayer on arts projects. "She constantly fought for the cultural advancements for the city--from a City Hall gallery to sculptures and murals throughout Anaheim."

Christopher K. Jarvi, Anaheim's director of community services, recalled her involvement in promoting the city's Art in Public Places program, now in its 10th year.

"Her real love was with the arts, particularly public art, and she has done a lot to improve the quality of life in the city of Anaheim," Jarvi said. "She had a wonderful spirit and love for the community--and it came out in the work that she did."

Mayer also worked for the city, hired as an arts-and-crafts instructor in 1977. In 1980, she became director at Oak Canyon Nature Center, where she worked until January 1983.

Most recently, Mayer served as exhibits supervisor for the Orange County Fair & Exposition Center in Costa Mesa.

In 1995, she received a Volunteers of Distinction Award, given by the Times Orange County, for her work in the arts.

On Thursday, the first Julie Mayer Art Award, expected to be annual, will be presented at the Anaheim Arts Council's annual Art in Public Places awards ceremony.

Mayer was born in Oceanside and moved to Anaheim in 1952, graduating from Anaheim High School. She is survived by daughters Melissa Heyne and Carrie Bailey, both of Anaheim; newborn grandson Ryan Jackson Bailey; brother Doug Cook of Fullerton; sister Kristina Johnson, of Anaheim; and parents Ervin G. and Lois B. Cook of Garden Grove.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be mailed to Anaheim Children's Festival, in care of Anaheim Arts Council, P.O. Box 1364, Anaheim, Calif. 92805.

Services are pending.

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