‘Fraser is beautiful’: Town kicks off art in public places program | SkyHiNews.com

‘Fraser is beautiful’: Town kicks off art in public places program

Kendra Fleishman's "Ribbon Dance" is installed right outside the Grand Park Community Recreation Center in Fraser.
Sawyer D’Argonne/Sky-Hi News

It’s been a busy week in Fraser for the arts, with both the town’s mural program returning for its second year and the brand new sculpture program officially kicking off.

Fraser installed the first of three new sculptures coming to the town on Friday afternoon, Kendra Fleishman’s “Ribbon Dance,” outside of the Grand Park Community Recreation Center.

“I think this is a great start for Fraser,” said Ken Ball, a member of Fraser’s Public Arts Committee. “It brings contemporary movement to our collection, and I think it marks a good, long-term future for the town’s program.”

Just minutes away from the installation artists were hard at work completing the season’s first mural at Azteca Mexican Restaurant, a massive graffiti portrait depicting the mask of Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain.

The piece was sketched and painted by Denver based muralist MPek, a Mexican native who specializes in large-scale graffiti works, along with help from Jake Clayborn, also known as Verse.13.

“I have done a few big walls in the Sante Fe and RiNo art districts in Denver,” said MPek. “But it’s very nice up here. This location is awesome, and there’s not much graffiti up here, so it will be good.”

MPek and Clayborn also completed a smaller Día de Muertos inspired piece on the front of the building.

The two remaining sculptures were installed on Tuesday: “Otterly Pointless” by Pati Stajcar outside the Fraser Historic Church, and “Breaking Through” by Kevin Robb near the Goranson Station.

The sculptures will remain in Fraser for one year, and will be swapped out for new pieces around this time next year. Though, should the community grow attached, there’s always the possibility of local individuals or organizations purchasing the sculptures to create permanent installations, according to Fraser Town Manager Jeff Durbin.

Both the installation and the mural represent a dedicated effort by the town to bring arts in public places into the forefront of the town’s identity. In just the program’s second year, its budget nearly tripled from $7,500 to $20,000. Likewise, while there were only four town-sponsored murals completed last year, the town expects eight or nine completed this year, according to Durbin.

“I think this has been an amazing week in Fraser,” said Durbin. “We’ve had four new significant additions to the public arts. I think it fits in with the whole fresh, quirky and funky downtown strategic plan.”

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