Mural Dedication: 17 August 2018
Completion of this collaborative mural was celebrated with a dedication ceremony in downtown Laramie, Wyoming in August 2018.
The Story of “School of the High Plains”
I work for the Wyoming Migration Initiative, an organization which researches and engages people in what we learn about big game migrations in Wyoming. The most iconic migration in the state is the Path of the Pronghorn, which involves pronghorn traveling 100 miles twice a year as they move along a migration corridor connecting summer and winter ranges. It is a corridor that pronghorn have used for roughly 6,000 years! From an art standpoint, pronghorn have a great two-tone coloration which lends itself well to design. Further, I’d heard that a very early concept for the first Gill Street mural had been to focus on pronghorn (not fish!). As an artist and naturalist, I wanted to work all that context, plus the landscape, these iconic animals, and their key winter food source (sagebrush), into my design.
I hope my fish will pique people’s curiosity about research and conservation of migration corridors in Wyoming and the Mountain West more generally. To that end, I’d love to see more murals focused on our natural ecosystems and how humans interact with and influence them. And, broadly, I hope the mural will empower new muralists, like myself, and result in future projects that focus on mentoring more community members to create murals. Developing and executing a mural design is way outside the bounds of what I normally do as an artist. In particular, the constraints of the call for designs (a trout, somehow related to Laramie, etc.) compelled and inspired me to think a bit outside my visual box. The result is fairly distinct from my usual illustration style, and I like that! I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to create this conceptual piece as part of a project that will also help me (and others) connect with the local ecosystem and public art scene.
How can you contribute?
See the Wyoming Migration Initiative for lots of information about pronghorn migrations, the migrations of other species in Wyoming, and the conservation efforts underway to preserver these migration corridors. WMI does accept donations.
See the Laramie Mural Project for details about other murals in Laramie. If you’d like to see another mural go up in town, LMP accepts donations, as all murals through that project are funded via donation.