Friday, September 9, 2011

Murray Building blessed with cherub mural

Today marked the "Signature Ceremony" for the cherub mural on The Murray Building in downtown Cheyenne. About 25 people turned out for the ceremony -- friends, family, supporters and "interns" (Trish, who said there was still some finishing touches that she'd be helping with), as well as the many drivers-by who gawked, honked and shouted their approval. The mural is an attention getter as motorists crest the hump of the Central Avenue overpass going from south to north Cheyenne.

Of course the artist was there to sign his work. Michael Cooper is from Franklin, Tennessee. His southern drawl comes gently over the first syllable of certain words, and then so slightly, if you're not listening you'll miss it. He is a muralist by trade, and couldn't say enough nice things about the people who stopped to talk, to buy him a soda, to discuss the weather and his painting. Ed Murray, sponsor of the project and owner of the building, said that Michael is also a pretty fine guitar player, his rendition of "Let It Be" was the best that he'd ever heard. Michael said, "You need to get out more." The two have become good friends over the project's duration.

The mural design is based on the cherubs of Donatello, an Italian Renaissance artist and sculptor who lived in Florence. At any rate, Cooper transferred the 8 1/2 x 11 inch design to the side of the building, but first had to strip the brick of it's rusted and peeling paint. Then there was brick and mortar patching to be done. Then the base coat had to be painted on, without which the special Keim mural paint (the Superman of mural paints, I'm told) would not adhere. The mural should last for decades, if not longer. Needless to say, this has been a long, probably at times -- like during the 90-degree plus summer days (Michael sports a deep shade of summer tan)  -- arduous task. But his dedication to the painstaking work has certainly paid off in a unique and "not western themed," I heard someone say, public art piece.

So, if you're in Cheyenne, be sure and drive over the overpass and take a look at the mural. You might just get that "Let It Be" feeling.


  1. This is absolutely beautiful. What an amazing piece of art for your town!!!!!

  2. I work at Johnson Junior High, and since school started have looked forward to seeing the progress every day. Now that the mural is finished it has become a piece of inspiration for a project my art class will be doing.Thanks, Murrays,in these times we need some uplifting images.