Public art comes to Lander through the Popo Agie Gold project created by AtLAS (At Lander Arts and Sciences), a branch of the Lander Art Center, its most recent installation, a mural located on the restroom in City Park.
Created by Snow Deep Designs artists Dannine Donaho and Lori Hunter, the animals and plants in this mural represent the flora and fauna in the Popo Agie watershed. The droplets, painted by the community, represent the water itself and its importance to life here in Wyoming.
“We spent over 160 hours on this mural, working all hours of the day, “ Hunter said. “The restroom is an essential part of the Park, but now it’s also a destination. It’s a place to take visiting family and friends; challenge them to identify the plants and animals, take photos in front of, and enjoy the fun, larger-than-life images.”
The overall goal of Pogo Agie Gold, which began its planning phase in the summer of 2017, has been to highlight the importance of the local watershed. In the Rocky Mountain West, water holds more value than gold. The project has sought to inspire pride and responsibility in the watershed by increasing knowledge and understanding of local water use and creating familiarity with our water sources. Popo Agie Gold has also works to engage community members and students around watershed challenges, and provide education on mitigating some of these challenges. The project encourages responsible water use and collaboration on how to improve the health of our water.
Another recently completed segment of the project is the art that decorates the electrical boxes along Main Street.
“Public art is necessary as it reflects the values of our community,” said local artist Noelle Weimann, who has art that beautifies two of the electrical boxes. “It fosters the notion that the members of our society are valued, and that we live in an environment worth investing in.”
An upcoming installation will be a large river walk mural, currently being painted by artist Virginia Moore that will be installed along the Barney Riverwalk later this year. This will be the final piece of the Popo Agie Gold Project.
AtLAS operates under the Lander Art Center and connects the community through the dynamic integration of art and science. “Lander is filled with many talented artists and gifted scientists. AtLAS, fosters collaboration between these diverse groups to create programming and exhibits” says Nancy Pieropan, Lander Art Center’s Chair of the Board and long-time AtLAS working group member. “AtLAS will continue to work on projects that inspire and educate our community in creative ways.”
AtLAS and the Lander Art Center would like to thank the following partners who made this project possible: Water for Wildlife Foundation, Western Native Trout Initiative, Wyoming Business Council, Lander Recreation Board, Popo Agie Conservation District, Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming Game and Fish Department The Nature Conservancy, Promoting Arts in Lander Schools, and so many more.