August 8, 2017 | Kasey Drummond, Glenrock Main Street Director, Town of Glenrock | Main Street Spotlight Feature Article |
New “Deliverance” mural in Glenrock, Wyoming. Credit: ARCY
Glenrock, Wyoming’s (pop. 2,595) new large-scale murals—part photo-realism, part abstract paint splash—capture the past, present and future of the small town. Kasey Drummond, Glenrock Main Street Director, explains how they brought the acclaimed graffiti artist ARCY to their Main Street and explores the work he produced in three additional Wyoming communities on his summer tour.
Artist Ryan Christenson, who goes by ARCY (a play on his initials), grew up in and still calls Connecticut home, but travels the world to leave his lasting impression with spray-painted street art in memorable locations. After encountering ARCY’s work for the first time in downtown Rock Springs this past fall—I fell in love with the mural of an angelic little boy with a black cowboy hat—I obtained his contact information from fellow Main Street Director, Chad Banks. He shared that ARCY comes to Wyoming’s Big Show - Sweetwater County Fair in Rock Springs, where he performs on-site demonstrations throughout the fair week. The pieces are auctioned off individually at the end of the fair.
When I contacted ARCY to inquire about murals for our downtown, I told him how excited I was to find him and to see if I could bring him to Glenrock. ARCY had me travel around town and take pictures of our downtown buildings that would be suitable for a mural. Once I sent those pictures off to him with their physical address, ARCY came back to me with his top two picks for a mural location.
The next step was to choose a design. This was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I simply gave him a list of what makes up Glenrock, and he created the designs. Our rich western culture provided ARCY with the inspiration for the two murals. The designs were approved last winter by the Glenrock Main Street committee, town council and the local economic development board.
The first mural, “Deliverance,” was painted on the alley side of the local Odd Fellows Building. This is his version of the Pony Express–Glenrock’s Deer Creek Station was a home station of the Pony Express.
"Deliverance" in progress. Credit: Glenrock Downtown Development Committee | Facebook
The second mural, “Cowboy,” was painted on the 4th Street Side of Hardware Hanks. Plain and simple, Glenrock is steeped in cowboy history from years past to today.
Glenrock Main Street looked at these murals as an investment in our downtown and our local business, to enhance our quality of life and economic vitality. The murals are a direct connection to our past, present and future. Total cost for our two murals was $5000 and we feel that is a great investment.
The community supported ARCY during the painting process. Laurie Gagas took pictures to keep everyone updated on the mural process. The lift used to scale the walls during painting was donated by Nicole and Jared Williams of Loenbro, an industrial services company. Doug and Maribel Frank, who own and operate the Historic Higgins Hotel in Glenrock, sponsored a room for ARCY to sleep in while he was in town. (Doug also happens to be the mayor of Glenrock!) Local businesses Classic Cafe and Pizza and Copper Leaf Coffee & Creamery provided meals and refreshments for ARCY, and many community members brought water and checked up on the artist.
This young and inspirational young man so incredibly creative! I just can’t say enough about him. Credit: Glenrock Downtown Development Committee | Facebook
We have had other property owner’s call to say they would like a mural on their building as well. Glenrock Main Street has a Façade Grant Program that will help cover the costs of a mural of up to 50 percent or $7000, whichever is less. I anticipate ARCY coming back to Glenrock, or hope one of our own artists will leave a memorable impression full of stories for years to come.
The downtowns of Rock Springs, Evanston and Pinedale were a part of ARCY’s 2017 summer tour. (Read more here.) Evanston is rich in railroad history and the mural depicts an old steam engine. Pinedale is a picturesque little town that features vast mountains, lakes, streams and wildlife. Their downtown mural depicts a mama moose with her baby. Rock Springs is rich in history and they aren’t afraid to show off their artistic flair. ARCY painted a mural of a bird of prey that spans over two building facades. All are amazingly beautiful and one of kind!
"Old Steam Engine" in Evanston, Wyoming. Credit: ARCY
"Moose" in Pinedale, Wyoming. Credit: ARCY
"Bird of Prey" in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Credit: ARCY
ARCY has traveled all over the world and the United States to bring his unique and artistic love of street art to local communities. His work includes indoor and outdoor murals and even food trucks—anything that can be painted. The spray paint used is a custom paint from Germany that helps to sponsor ARCY on his tours. If you look closely at all of his final pieces, you will see a familiar two-eared Disney character hidden in the design--he includes it as a surprise for his two beautiful children.
To see ARCY at work, check out his website or visit his Facebook. From either you can reach out to him and schedule your own one-of-a-kind mural for your downtown.
Watch Glenrock’s Murals come to life on our Facebook page.
Kasey Drummond has worked the Town of Glenrock for over 14 years, and for nearly five years, has served as the Community Development Director. One of her responsibilities is Glenrock Main Street. Kasey loves to see how art is transforming their downtown—pops of color are creating gathering spots throughout downtown Glenrock.