Underpass murals near completion in Dickinson

Dickinson,ND is adding some color to the community, and all hands are on deck with their paint and brushes. 

Back in August  the Western Wellness Foundation in Dickinson commissioned an artist to design four murals for the highway 22 underpass.

The underpass is located near Villard Street on the South end town. 

North of the underpass the West wall will show Ukrainians immigrating and the East wall will illustrate the cowboys, Native Americans, and buffalo of the badlands

On the South end the West wall will have a painting of Dickinson State University’s Mary Hall, and East side will have a historic representation of Downtown Dickinson.

The bridge itself will not be painted, because it is eligible for  the National Register of Historic Places

Long Beach, California artist Guillermo Ivan Avalos was commissioned to paint the underpass murals along the underpass and started working on them just two weeks ago.

With lots of help from the community the plan is to have everything finished up by this weekend.

Avalos said he and the community have been putting in about eight hour days on the murals, and about six to eight people on average come out each day to paint.

Avalos said he sketched the designs and then allowed the community to paint them;he jokingly compares it to painting by numbers, and some people are worried they are going to make a mistake, but he assures them they are doing just fine. 

One of the main goals of the project was to promote community involvement, and Avalos said  more than 60 people overall have come out and volunteered their time.  

“My main purpose is to get the public involved. . . practically this mural is theirs. . . I was just the creative glue that out the ideas together, ” said Guillermo Ivan Avalos, mural artist.

The overall project will cost $32,000, and Kris Fehr, executive director of the Western Wellness Foundation, said the project was made possible thanks to a $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant, matching $10,000 funds from the city of Dickinson, and $12,500 in donated services and equipment from the city.

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