Expanding on the growing collection of outdoor artwork in downtown Cheyenne, the Downtown Development Authority this past Saturday hosted a community paint by number mural event in the alley behind Flippers Family Arcade.
The public was invited to come out to the free event to help create the newest mural in the ever-expanding outdoor art movement in downtown. People of all ages came and went all day long, painting for however long they wanted to. No previous artist experience was required to participate.
In conjunction with the mural project, the picnic tables that had been a part of the community pocket park and had been painted by various artists during the Paint Slingers event earlier this summer, were auctioned off to the highest bidders with proceeds going to the DDA.
The mural event was funded by a grant DDA received from the Wyoming Arts Council. The event was a collaboration between the DDA and Cheyenne artist Larisa Dudnikov. The wall behind Flippers was chosen as the best location for the mural because it provided the most accessibility for the community, and it was an exceptionally large wall that allowed ample space for many painters.
Dudnikov, owner of Art Bureau, created the concept of the mural entitled “Live the Legend.” She is originally from the Eastern European country of Moldova. Growing up there she fell in love with the American West through reading many books on the subject.
She studied art in her home country before studying art at the New York Institute of Art and Design. She later moved to Austin, Texas where she lived and worked as a mural artist before moving to Cheyenne about three months ago.
“I am so happy to be able to do this,” Dudnikov said of the mural project. Her inspiration for the mural was Wyoming’s American Western culture.
The event is an exciting opportunity to get the community engaged in art downtown, said Amber Ash, executive director for DDA.
“I am always shocked and amazed by how many tourists love to come and check out the art here. When we had the community pocket park people loved to sit out here surrounded by the art. And it is just a great way for the community to get involved in their downtown and be a part of that art culture in a way that they normally wouldn’t,” Ash said.
Haylee Chenchar, assistant director of the DDA said her group was grateful to the community for the help.
“We have a lot of great momentum [gained] from providing new and different things for Cheyenne. We are excited to bring this for our constituents to participate in. It’s new and different and that is what we like,” Chenchar said.
On Halloween, The DDA will be hosting multiple events in Downtown including Trick-or-Treating, with 50 businesses giving out candy and non-candy items. “Ghoulish Grub” highlights the restaurants having spooky specials, and a “Booze and Boos Pub Crawl” will raise funds for the DDA.