(Riverton, WY) – Artists Rusty Wuertz and Skot Lain are the first to have their paintings enlarged and displayed on the side of a building for the first-ever Riverton Art Banner Project featuring local artists.
The two paintings were selected by the public during a two-week voting period in July. Rusty and Skot each received $250 which was donated to the project by RTO Point S.
The buildings in Riverton where they will be displayed have not been confirmed at this time, according to Hal Herron and Mike Martin, project organizers. They plan to have these larger-than-life works of art on display within a year.
The inspiration for Skot’s piece, “Evening Rainbow,” comes from his addiction to flyfishing and trout obsession. He has only painted for about a year and does not typically paint the entire fish like this one; his paintings usually only feature their front half.
Skot wasn’t planning to enter into the contest he noted, but his parents talked him into it. The painting took him about a week to complete. He shared his gratitude to the community for their support and that it is an honor to have his work be hung with other artists like Jon Cox.
Rusty shared she was excited to enter this call for artists and is glad to have been a part of it. The painting didn’t come together until her stepdaughter, Kiera, mentioned bright pink mountains, and since Wyoming animals like bison and grizzlies are frequently featured, Rusty wanted to incorporate an animal that doesn’t normally get highlighted. Her piece titled “Painted by Morning,” features a fox inspired by one that lives near her property and was completed in one night.
This is her first canvas painting in 4-5 years, noting she usually paints skulls. She is appreciative of how supportive Fremont County is of its local artists. Rusty also helped paint the mural at the splash pad in City Park.
RTO Point S owners, Brent and Rochelle Sheldon, shared they were happy to donate the $500 for the winning artists.
“Hal and Mike have done a great job promoting this,” Brent said. “We’re happy to support Fremont County.”
Hal and Mike are dedicated to beautifying Riverton with artwork. To date, they have put up some 17 art banners throughout the city. Examples can be seen on Main Street, the Library and on many Riverton schools.
Making this years’ local artist call possible was the Riverton economic development organization IDEA Inc. Their funding will help cover the costs associated with enlarging and mounting the local work.
This first year, 19 artists submitted paintings and the community cast 161 votes. Mike noted they hope to turn this into an annual event.
The two also shared their appreciation for the Riverton Library’s support of the project.
Check out earlier posts about the Riverton Art Banner Project here.