Friday, August 19, 2011

"Tierra y Libertad" the first of many murals in unique Laramie business-artist partnership

Laramie artist Talal Cockar's "Tierra y Libertad" is the first in a series of murals in downtown Laramie sponsored by the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Laramie Main Street Alliance.

Located on the north exterior wall of Big Hollow Food Co-op, 119 S. First St., Cockar's mural recognizes natural foods and agriculture and is a tribute to the land and the people who work it. The Laramie Mural Project is an extension of the Art Museum's "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" exhibition of public art that opened in 2008.

Cockar has studied and created street art using different media for more than 10 years and has done work in various social and cultural settings from Kenya to New York to Wyoming

In the coming weeks, as many as four additional murals will be created in downtown locations. The project pairs a local artist with business and building owners to discuss concepts and ideas so the murals reflect the community and the artist.

Trey Sherwood, Laramie Main Street executive director, says, "The Laramie Mural Project is a wonderful boost to the social vibrancy and diverse aesthetics found in downtown. We encourage the community to come down and watch the artists paint then explore new facets of downtown."

UW Art Museum Director Susan Moldenhauer credits Sherwood for doing "an extraordinary job in identifying businesses and building owners who may be interested in donating a wall for a mural by a local artist."

The Laramie Mural Project is made possible by the Guthrie Family Foundation, Laramie Beautification Committee and the city of Laramie.

For more information about the UW Art Museum, call (307) 766-6622 or visit the museum's webpage at or blog at . Located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Dr. in Laramie, the museum is open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays. Admission is free.

Photo: A sketch of the mural design by Talal Cockar, courtesy of the artist.

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