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LOGAN — A USU student inspired a community art project after seeing the blank wall of Angie's Restaurant.
Matthew Vance said he is studying business administration and marketing at Utah State University and as a result he is constantly analyzing advertisements. When he stopped at a stop light in front of Angie's Restaurant, he said he got a marketing idea after viewing the blank wall of the restaurant.
"I noticed the big, blank wall on the side of the restaurant and I analyzed that as the lack of a billboard," Vance said. "What could go there that could add value not only to the restaurant but to the community as a whole?"
Vance talked to Saboor Sahely, the owner of Angie's Restaurant, and created a contest to involve community artists in the project. He decided to create a 12-by-50-foot mural on the side of the restaurant that portrayed the theme, "people, places and times of Cache Valley."
Local artists submitted entries for the contest in February and then their artwork went on display in the foyer of Angie's Restaurant so that the public could vote on their favorites. Vance said he liked the idea of having a community mural.
"I didn't want one professional artist painting it because (this) is where the locals eat," Vance said. "We wanted a reflection of Cache Valley painted by Cache Valley natives."
The 12 artists selected to paint the mural ranged in age from 12 to almost 60 years old. Vance said his brother is an art major at USU and he helped coordinate and organize the painting with the artists
"We came up with a list of the most iconic places and natural markers to include in the mural and then we had a planning meeting and the winners were able to pick which ones they wanted to paint," Vance said. "We wanted them to add their own flair and character of what they were painting. It looks almost like a collage."
The artists began painting the wall at the beginning of April and completed the project in three weeks. The grand unveiling of the mural was held Saturday.
Vance said he didn't get any compensation for organizing the contest and in fact, he paid for the prizes for the winning artists out of pocket. However, he said he saw the experience as a good opportunity.
"I just thought of this idea when I was thinking of business ideas and I figured this one was doable for me," Vance said. "(I) figured it would be a good way to get real-life business and marketing experience."
Vance said a fellow USU student and friend created a documentary of the experience that will be released later this week.