The Paw Print
Images depicting historic figures, beautiful landscapes, significant landmarks, and timeless symbols cover the north wall of the San Luis Valley museum – reflecting the diverse heritage of the San Luis Valley.
Last week, Adams State University alumnus Ian Wilkinson completed the museum’s mural, located on Fourth St. and Hunt Ave. in Alamosa, Colo.
Wilkinson worked for a couple weeks, applying the paintings. However, the project took a year of planning, collaboration and outreach to prepare and design. ASU Community Partnerships’ staff worked with Wilkinson extensively prior to his arrival.
Several community outreach activities, including social networking, were organized in order to receive community input into the design and concept of this public artwork. Sykpe sessions were held with Wilkinson, Ashville, and North Carolina, to explore what the community wanted from this project.
Karl Jolliff, ASU Community Partnership’s business support director, created an online survey as another means of obtaining design and concept ideas. With forty-eight responses to the survey, the overwhelming conclusion was that a representation of the entire San Luis Valley’s past, present, and a glimpse of what the future might hold would be the theme of the mural.
The mural is intended to spark conversation and interest in exploring the San Luis Valley’s history, landmarks, and legends. “Ian Wilkinson’s interest in the Valley was demonstrated by the countless hours he spent researching what to include in the mural,” said Mary Hoffman, ASU Community Partnerships executive director.
Hoffman wrote the $20,000 funding proposal to the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) after Wilkinson returned to Adams State for an Art Department’s Visiting Artist Lecture.
The NEA is an independent federal agency that funds and promotes artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. Adams State is eligible for NEA funding because of its excellence in the arts background, documented by its exhibit history, including community art exhibit involvement.
Many local organizations provided support to meet the community NEA funding match requirement. The Alamosa Marketing District, San Luis Valley Federal, 1st Southwest Bank, The Floyd Dale Higel Family, San Luis Valley Builders, Inc., and the San Luis Valley Museum provided support that leveraged the federal funding.