Artist proposes mural depicting Hot Sulphur Springs history |

Artist proposes mural depicting Hot Sulphur Springs history

As renovations continue in the Grand County Administration Building, county officials ponder a place for a mural that would depict the history of Hot Sulphur Springs ” the county seat.

Artist Howard Neville of Neville Studio, Grand Lake, proposed the public-art project to commissioners on Tuesday.

He said a mural painted in oils then broken down into five panels and displayed in a corridor or entryway of a county building could illustrate the cultural heritage of Hot Sulphur Springs.

The artist at first held the new judicial building in mind for the mural, but upon Commissioner Gary Bumgarner’s suggestion that the art grace walls of the elder county building ” the administration building under renovation ” Neville and others, took to the idea.

“There’s enough positive information in this county and this community to warrant a very nice mural,” said Neville, who added the subjects of the art piece would be realized out of community discussions and historic value.

The project would be based on receiving a $20,000 Colorado Council for the Arts grant from funds set aside for cultural heritage projects.

Private donors would help with matching funds to cover the cost of the commissioned work, Neville said.

With the county’s blessing, the artist will embark on grant writing and thorough research.

Smaller prints of a finished piece would be sold upon the mural’s completion.

Neville chose to focus on Hot Sulphur Springs rather than a broader area even though “personalities are all over the county, that’s for sure,” he said. “But Hot Sulphur Springs is under-represented, and that’s where the county building is.”

The artist, known mostly for his sculpture work such as the Eisenhower statue in Fraser, “Waiting for the Parade,” “Alexander Proctor” and “Boy Reading to His Dog” in Grand Lake, said he not only enjoys history but has been a painter much longer than a sculptor. He looks forward to the mural project, he said, as “therapy ” until I get my next bronze going.”

Neville believes art flirts with the “finer things in life” and can lift one from absorption in “lower level needs.”

“I do love, as an ex-teacher,” Neville the public artist said, “exposing people to the arts, whether they want to be or not.”

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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