Williston’s Downtown Area Gets a New Look

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When James Griffin heard about the Downtowners Association’s plan to bring artwork to downtown alleyways, he knew it sound right up his alley.
 
“I seen somebody draw a shark when I was in first or second grade and I was like, Whoa,” says Griffin. 
 
He has been creating art ever since. 
And now the Downtowners Association has provided him a prime venue to showcase his artwork.
 
“It’s cool to be able to draw on buildings. It’s the style, in general. And it’s always nice when you have permission to draw on people’s stuff,” says Griffin. 
 
The Downtowners Association conceived the project as a way to make alleyways more attractive. And it’s catching the attention of those who live and work in the area.
 
“It captures North Dakota and Williston and farming and the oil field and everything this place is about,” says Timothy Redpath, whose residence and business office are located in the Renaissance on Main building. 
 
The association aims to pair artists with building owners and property managers that have similar visions for the murals.
 
“He showed me some of things he’s done in the past. So I knew what types of techniques he was going to be able to use. And his skills. And then I went ahead and shared with him some things I thought would be nice to include on the building,” says Muriel Lippert, building manager at Renaissance on Main. 
 
Griffin’s design on the Renaissance on Main building is one of five murals planned for the downtown area. And though the others are still works in progress, community residents are looking forward to the finished project.
 
“It just gives the town a little warmer, better feel. That we’re all here sort of doing something together which is what North Dakota is all about,” says Redpath. 
 
The end result is part a reflection of the building, part vision of the artist who created it, and part of the community as a whole.
 
The Williston Downtowners Association has plans to do the project again next year. 
 

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