Brightening Up the Alleyways


External Rear Wall of Pocket Park


Side-by-side murals grace the outer walls of the east side alley in the 100 block of South Main Street in Lamar. One, for the Brew Unto Others coffee shop and the other, larger work is being done for the Shore Arts Center Pocket Park.

Gersick, Yates and Cooper by Brew Unto Others

The projects are being completed by local artists Jeremy Cooper and John Gersick whose works have been viewed around Lamar over the past several years. Rose Ann Yates, of the Southeast Colorado Arts Council, said both projects are receiving donations, assisted by the Ann Boeken Trust which has been a continuing beneficiary of some of the Council’s works.  Gersick said his project is also receiving assistance from the Lamar Partnership Incorporated group, headed by Angie Cue.

Cooper finished his exterior work on the large wall at the rear of the Pocket Park last week and will begin on the interior, Friday, May 4th.  “It should take about a week to complete,” he said, adding that the 1,300 square foot outer wall was completed in an 80 hour week.  “I’ve measured the interior four main walls and estimate around 4,000 square feet for that project.”  Cooper said the interior will be toned down in comparison to the vibrant colors used for the exterior.  “I’m incorporating mostly greens, blues and some browns to build a rolling wave or hill that suggests the terrain of the area.  Motorists traveling north and south on Main Street will have the aspect of either going up or downhill when they pass by,” he explained.  The comments on the outer wall have been mostly positive, mostly because of the introduction of some bright and different colors into the community.  He said, “The students working on the metal bugs project at the HOPE Center commented that they’d really like to see colors that attract your attention.”

Will be Repainted in New Mural

Gersick, the art instructor at the Lamar High School, has been working with students in the alleyways for the past several Fridays, using acrylic spray paints for the project, entitled, ‘Painting Prowers: Bridging Communities’ and working with a different grant, as well as supplement funding from the Arts Council.

Shore Arts Center Park

He said students from the advanced art and painting classes have contributed to the project as well as some LCC students, plus the welding and metals classes have been at work, creating the off-wall portion of the project that will be mounted to the outer wall of the Brew later this month. The design will incorporate a cross and floating coffee mugs, as well as the Prowers Bridge with a river scene and a wave cresting over a sunset.  The alleyway has become the main entrance to Brew Unto Others because it’s easier to reach and the parking lot offers more space for vehicles than along Main Street.  Both artists believe there is more to do in the community, especially for the untouched alleyways that could be made more colorful and enticing to shoppers.

By Russ Baldwin

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