Artist Shannon Foley Henn and Cooper Creek Square blend art, community and charitable giving for a good cause
In 2020, Cooper Creek Square teamed up with local artist and Uptripping owner, Shannon Foley Henn, to envision a colorful art installation that would capture the spirit of Grand County’s community and raise funds for local charities. Now, the duo is announcing the first donation of funds raised by the Cooper Creek Creatures project, which will help three charities fulfill their missions.
All of the money raised goes directly to charities that were chosen by the tenants at Cooper Creek Square. They are Headwaters Trails Alliance, The Grand Foundation’s Brammer Family Fund and the Middle Park Medical Foundation.
The first phase of the project was to create a bright striped mural that spans the entirety of the first level of the building from Christy Sports to Devil’s Craft. The second phase was to incorporate “creatures” throughout the mural enjoying Winter Park’s many offerings. From hiking and biking to skiing and snowboarding and every activity in between, everyone in our community will have an opportunity to be depicted in this living story.
“When Charlie Johnson and Stephanie Carey approached me about a new mural in Cooper Creek, we knew we wanted it to be bright and fun, but we also wanted it to be more than just a mural,” said Foley Henn, who began working on the project with assistance from local artist Gus Reynolds over the summer.
“We brainstormed on ways we could integrate the entire community and give back,” said Foley Henn. “It’s literally what Uptripping means to me, to leave a space, person or place better than when you found it and give back while doing so. I am so thrilled to be able to “uptrip” the walls of Cooper Creek with these whimsical creatures. Adults and children alike are going to have so much fun finding themselves and their neighbors hidden throughout the painting outside the stores and restaurants. It’s like a living ‘Where’s Waldo’ in which Waldo is all your friends!”
The organizers say a Cooper Creek Creature is a simple line drawing of a person, family or animal. Foley Henn will paint them based on a description provided by the sponsor. Participants can choose from the three charities or divide their donation amongst all three.
“We have raised over $7,000 and it’s growing every day. The creative response has been amazing. Seeing creatures doing a wide variety of things will add whimsy and fun to the mural. We even have a creature flying a drone,” says Stephanie Carey, Marketing Director at Cooper Creek Square.
A total of $3,185 has been raised for Headwaters Trails Alliance so far.
“We will be putting these funds towards attending the International Trails Summit in Reno in April,” said Maire Sullivan, who works on development and finance for the alliance. “It is being put on by American Trails and the Professional Trail Builders Association.”
Another $2,510 has been raised for the Brammer Family Fund, which was established to provide financial assistance to Grand County residents and their families who are affected by cancer.
To date, $1,880 has been raised for Middle Park Medical Foundation.
“We will dedicate this donation into our Middle Park Health Employee Assistance Fund, (which) supports employees who fall on financial hard times due to unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances that require an urgent need for financial assistance,” said Andy Radzavich, the foundation’s execution director.
A website was created for the endeavor, making it easy for someone to create their own creature. Those who participate choose how many people they want, describe their favorite activities and give a few other pertinent details. Foley Henn uses the description to create a simple line drawing of the “creatures” described. The sponsor’s name will be written alongside their creature, and the cost starts at $100. To participate, visit CooperCreekCreatures.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.
Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.
If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.