More than two dozen muralists are crafting pieces across Fraser this weekend |

More than two dozen muralists are crafting pieces across Fraser this weekend

Muralist Tom Ward of Denver works on his piece for the Fraser Mountain Mural Festival on Friday. Aug. 6, 2021. Ward is one of 25 artists vying for cash prizes and recognition in this year's festival.
Eli Pace /

If you ask Denver muralist Tom Ward, a good mural will draw viewers in from 50 feet away or more, so it must look appealing at a distance.

But the artist also has to consider how the mural will appear up close, he added, so one can’t ignore the details, either. It’s also important to think about how the piece will engage the viewer.

For Ward, his primary source of income comes from creating murals. He has about 30 large pieces in parks across the state, and he is one of 25 muralists who started work at 9 a.m. Friday in Fraser.

Running Aug. 6-8, the Fraser Mountain Mural Festival is being presented by the town and the Fraser Public Arts Committee, and the festival brought the artists together in a competition for money and recognition.

During the festival, more than two dozen artists are producing their best work on square, eight-foot primed panels under this year’s theme: “Celebrate the Resiliency of the Human Spirit.”

On Friday, Ward knew the design he wanted to produce, but he still wasn’t quite sure what he was going to name the piece.

“Well, I did another with a similar theme, and it’s called, ‘2020’s Over,’” Ward said, adding that he was going to have to think about it a little more.

Per the rules, the artists had to bring their own supplies, and the Fraser PAC provided the panels. Painting times are set for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and all the work must be completed by 6 p.m. Saturday.

The murals also must be painted to edges of the panels, and the artists are not allowed to use projectors, paint during off hours or paint any nudity or profanity into their pieces.

Additionally, festival-goers are being asked to help decide the winners by voting for their favorite piece, and the top three people’s choice awards will garner $2,500, $1,300 and $1,000 prizes, respectively.

In addition to the murals, there will be a stage with live music until 8 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights, and from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday with a kids show at noon.

For more about the festival, including a lineup of the artists and complete schedule of events, go to

One of the murals in progress during the 2021 Fraser Mountain Mural Festival on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.
Eli Pace /

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.