Artist enlists community to create paint-by-numbers ‘Forest Adventurous’ mural
Editor’s note: The date and time of the community mural painting has been updated below.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Local artist Lance Whitner’s latest art project was inspired by Joseph Campbell’s best-known credo: “Follow your bliss.”
The prolific mythologist and writer outlines this concept in one of his books “The Power of Myth,” which follows what he calls a hero’s journey, one of self-discovering and finding one’s bliss.
“He writes about how myths from all over the world connect the story of the hero’s quest to find his bliss, the “holy grail,” Whitner said. “No one has the same path. Each is unique.”
• “Howie” by Chula Beauregard (Howelsen Ice Arena)
• “The Scream” by Steamboat Middle School students (West Lincoln Park bathroom)
• “Seasons in Steamboat” by Young at Art Creativity Camp Students (West Lincoln Park bathroom)
• “Western Town” by Chula Beauregard (Stockbridge playground)
• “The Emerald Garden” by Chula Beauregard (Yampa River Botanic Park)
• “Steamboat, circa 1910” by Chula Beauregard (Sasak building, along the Yampa River Core Trail)
• “Ski and Bike” by Chula Beauregard (Ski and Bike Kare)
• “Respect the Yampa” by Chula Beauregard (Back Door Sports)
• “Starry Night, Cafe Terrace at Night” by Dona Steele (Deja vu Boutique stairs)
• “Our Place, Our home” by Chula Beauregard (Strawberry Park Elementary School)
• “Gordon Campbell” by Chula Beauregard (Old Cook Chevrolet building along the Yampa River Core Trail)
• “Wings” by Jeff Roth (Kali’s Boutique)
• “Yampa River Flow” by Jeff Roth (Natural Grocers)
• “Mule Deer” by Bobby Magee Lopez (Steamboat Meat and Seafood)
• “Not titled” by Fernando Maldonado, Sierra Fallon and Katie Moore (Steamboat Smokehouse)
• “In Memory of Salvador” by Fernando Maldonado (Old Town Pub)
• “Not titled” by Fernando Maldonado (Mambo Italiano)
• “Not titled” by Fernando Maldonado (inside former Townies location)
• Unknown title by Julia Dordoni (Freshies)
• “America the Beautiful” by Bobby Magee Lopez (VFW)
In progress murals
• “Forest Adventurous” by Lance Whitner (Pine Moon Gallery)
• “Yampa is Wild” by Jill Bergman (downtown Ambulance Barn)
• “Western Heritage” (location and artist TBD)
This quest is the epicenter of “Forest Adventurous,” Whitner’s latest painting, new mural project and community event, “The Artistry of Life: Painting & Yoga.”
On Thursday evening, Whitner will begin the preliminary steps of the mural by projecting the image of the painting on the wall to create the outline of the 12-foot tall by 26-foot long image.
In conjunction with First Friday Artwalk, the community will have a chance to see the outline as well as Whitner’s original 3-foot by 80-inch painting on display from 5 to 8 p.m. at Pine Moon Gallery.
“I want people to be surprised, to be in awe of the larger-than-life-sized wildflowers,” Whitner said. “I want them to have a moment where they see something beautiful, and it makes them stop and think and wonder.”
On Aug. 11, Whitner and local yoga instructor Linda Curzon will launch the quest to paint the mural with a donation-based yoga practice from 9 to 10 a.m. outside the gallery. Shortly after the practice, they invite the community, especially those ages 13 to 21, to help paint the mural in a paint-by-numbers style.
“Yoga and painting are ways to express our creative energy,” Curzon said. “When supporting yogis through hands-on assists, I help sculpt their bodies like clay to discover new possibilities. Lance takes her brush and a palette of paints and creates a whole new reality. Together we are combining our energies to create a new artwork for our community.”
The suggested minimum donation to participate in the yoga and mural painting event is $10, and the money raised will be donated to the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance group.
“I’m so used to doing everything solo as an artist, so this project is really putting myself into a new place and a new experience,” Whitner said. “But, I think that’s how we learn and grow. This is really requiring me to say, ‘I can’t do this by myself.’”
The painting after which the mural will be modeled is broken up by many horizon lines with essentially no vanishing point.
“For me, the idea is that this forest, when you look at it, there’s different paths you can take just by looking through it and end up somewhere different than where you started,” Whitner said.
Inspired by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s recent ardor of public art projects, she applied for the 2017 Re-Grant program and won $2,300 to install the public art mural on Pine Moon Gallery’s north-facing alley wall.
The mural is Whitner’s first, and she estimates it will take about 10 days to complete.
“It’s a way to give back to the community, to celebrate the landscape and the environment that we all know and love,” Whitner said. “I love the idea of public art because it illustrates a vital community, one that cares.”
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