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Sam Penrod ReportingGrant money, hard work and creativity have turned the underbelly of a highway bridge into a community work of art.
The bridge is in Gunnison. It takes cars traveling Highway 89 over the Sanpitch River. But what is not visible to travelers is the colorful artwork. It's meant to brighten up a new pedestrian walkway.
Lori Nay, a member of the Gunnison City Council says, "Isn't this great, it's magical, you have to get out of your car to come and see this."
For the last few weeks, local volunteers have come together to create a work of art that residents of the Gunnison Valley can be proud of. It's a 218-foot mosaic wall of tile with a dragon at the center of the design. "The kids love it. I can't believe how much traffic comes through as we are working on it," says volunteer Elise Bown.
The project is the result of a small grant from the Utah Arts Council. The grants are meant to encourage communities to be creative. Diana Spencer of the Casino Star Theatre Foundation says, "The idea is that art and culture can improve economic development in this city."
Two Salt Lake artists, Kinde Nebeker and Elise Lazar created the image of the dragon on the wall and community members did the rest. Nay says, "It not only creates an ownership with the community to this river walk, but we think it develops an idea that volunteers giving back to your community is a good thing and what we like to cultivate in our young people."
The volunteers' next project is to restore Gunnison's historic theater for movies and community events.