by Barbara Nelson, Director, Granite Creek Trail Mural Project
Last May, Michael Byrd of Prescott Creeks led a hike along Granite Creek; during the hike, he planted the seed of an idea for a mural on the blank wall that faces Granite Creek and the Granite Creek Trail behind the properties at 302 W. Gurley and 130 N. Granite streets.
I took that seed and began spearheading the mural project.
The vision is of a mural depicting the local vegetation and wildlife facing Granite Creek and the trail. It appears from our research that at over 400 feet, this will be the longest mural in the state of Arizona totaling more than 3,000 square feet.
Murals and other art along the creek are anticipated by the city, which is currently implementing the Granite Creek Corridor Improvement Master Plan. The City of Prescott has indicated it will complete its work on the trail by this spring, after which we’ll begin the mural.
Yavapai College art instructor Dana Cohn is the muralist. He has done numerous others in this area and has an extensive art background, including having graduated from Yale with a master’s degree in fine arts. He has taught in Florida and New York City and has exhibited nationally.
Cohn estimates the work will be completed in six to eight months, weather permitting. The Audubon Society of Prescott and Highlands Center for Natural History will help ensure wildlife is accurately depicted.
The Granite Creek Trail Mural Project is an Arizona nonprofit as of Dec. 14, and we have received 501(c)(3) status so that donations will be tax deductible, and we can apply for grants to cover costs we estimate will range from $7 to $10 per square foot.
We believe this mural depicting the vegetation and wildlife — more than 150 species of birds and over 20 of other wildlife of the area — will become an informative and educational resource. A coating designed to protect the mural from graffiti and UV deterioration will be applied to the completed mural.
We have received nothing but positive feedback and support for this idea. Prescott Creeks supports the project. Mountain Artists Guild has awarded us a $10,000 seed grant. Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council and Prescott Art Docents support the project as well.
Sharlot Hall Museum has offered to do a series in the Daily Courier on the history of murals in Prescott in support of the project. Many individuals have been supportive as well, including businesses that face or are located near the Granite Creek Trail.
The wall is partly owned by Chase Bank and partly by ROX Media. We have received permission from ROX to produce the mural and are awaiting permission from Chase.
We presented the proposal to the City of Prescott’s Art in Public Places Committee Feb. 2. A proposed mural at and under the LaGuardia Bridge leading to Granite Creek Park was also presented.
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