The Mancos Public Library has a new literary-themed mural, showcasing the artistic handiwork from local National Art Honor Society students.
After months of planning and painting, the mural was revealed at a ceremony May 14. The large painting represents the diversity of Montezuma County through the giant fictitious book names covering a Zircon container in the library’s parking lot.
“It’s been such an incredible experience to work with these kids and teach them,” said Lille Diane, a board member for the Mancos Creative District who also served as director of the mural project.
The mural is a collaborative effort by the Creative District, Mancos Public Library, Montezuma Inspire Coalition, and the Mancos High School art program.
A little over a year ago, library directors approached the Creative District with the possibility of painting the Zircon container alongside the building, Diane said. The district accepted, and began planning.
“Because the Zircon container had that industrial shape to it – the uneven surface – we made a choice to paint on panels and then attach the panels to the board,” Diane said.
Alys Hansen, a K-12 art teacher for the Mancos School District Re-6, had also reached out to the Creative District about potential mural opportunities for her honors arts students, so they combined efforts.
“The idea was to present them a plan – because a lot of them are moving towards creative careers,” Diane said. “They’re going to be going to creative colleges and pursuing art as a lifestyle. We wanted to show them different ways art just feeds out into everything that we are.”
The project was partly funded through grants from the Montezuma Inspire Coalition, which aims to connect youth to the outdoors through educational programs. Slavens True Value Hardware provided discounted supplies.
Diane taught the students mural-painting techniques, and she, along with former Creative District board members Jim and Amy Dobson, came up with the overall design.
“Because it’s a library we thought it would be really cool to put a stack of books on the front of the mural,” Diane said. “And when we started researching all the authors in the Mancos area alone, we discovered there were way too many authors than we had room for.”
They were also concerned about accidentally omitting someone.
“So we decided to make fictional books that encompassed our community and all of the diversity of our wonderful Montezuma County,” she said. “So we made fictitious titles.”
Themes range from Navajo weaving to homesteading to Latino artwork. The prolific local Western writer Louis L’Amour makes an appearance, his name lining one of the spines.
The evening of May 14, the Creative District officially unveiled the mural and honored the student artists who took part in its creation.
The students who participated included: Brandon Sehnert, KC Dunn, Katie Dence, Nathan Morning, James Ayers, Aspen Feher, Erica Williams, John Lund, Dustin Morning, Zoey Steele, Kateland Bright, Alex Ruatti, Mati McDaniel, Brittain Feher, Caroline Podgornoff, and Brianna Belmont.