New mural gives a heartfelt thanks to the firefighters who helped to save our town
Local artist Wade Johnston, Visit Estes Park, Estes Arts District and Estes Valley Resiliency Collaborative comes together to help support project
Estes Arts District, Visit Estes Park, and the Estes Valley Resiliency Collaborative worked together to bring Estes Park a new mural tribute
A new mural has popped up in downtown Estes Park along the River Walk area. Its creator, local artist Wade Johnston, hoped that it would express our communities heart filled thanks to the wild-land firefighters who helped to keep the town safe during the historic fires of last summer.
Johnston, who is active with the Estes Arts District (EAD), tells us that Visit Estes Park approached him (VEP,) the Estes Valley Resiliency Collaborative (EVRC), and the EAD to conceptualize a mural that would pay homage and tribute to the firefighters.
The first attempt to secure a location for the mural failed. But, Johnston says, “The community backs the firefighters as much as possible.” According to Johnston, Ty Nagel owner of the Wheel Bar and the owners of Inkwell and Brew and Macdonald Book Shop, stepped up to support the project, and the new location for the mural was secured.
“I am very proud of it (the mural) Because I know if I were a little kid coming up to visit Estes Park, I would love the idea of seeing murals everywhere. It would make me very happy. It makes the adult version of me very happy.” Johnston adds.
Rachel Ward Oppermann, Marketing and Communications Manager of VEP, tells the Trail-Gazette that, “The mural is a project of the EVRC. The idea came out of a discussion had last October. About how to best thank the firefighters who defended our town.”
“Laurie Dale Marshall suggested the idea of a mural, and I ran with it because I loved it.” Adds Oppermann.
Oppermann is herself, an Allenspark volunteer firefighter. “You never know when you are going to pass a volunteer or career firefighter on the streets. What they do is important work, and I love the idea of a tribute to the important work they do.”
“EAD, VEP, and EVRC are striving to provide connection to the community, and art is one way that you can do that. It becomes a talking piece, and It is something we admire and appreciate together.” Says Oppermann. “It is a goal to help create more art around town.”
You can view the new mural by heading to the back door area of the Macdonald Book Shop and looking to the wall to the west. It is hard to miss.