Granite Creek Trail Mural Project launches with the longest continuous mural in the state
By Barbara Nelson, Founder
The mission of the Granite Creek Trail Mural Project is to create outdoor art for public benefit, starting with a mural on the bare concrete wall behind Chase Bank, north of the underpass at Gurley Street. It will be the longest single continuous mural in the state of Arizona.
The story starts last May, when I was on a hike along the Granite Creek Trail led by Michael Byrd, of Prescott Creeks. We arrived just north of the underpass at Gurley Street, which is home to the massive concrete wall. It was, to say the least, not attractive. Michael mentioned it might be nice if there was something on the wall. As an artist of over 50 years, I immediately thought of a mural.
I probably seemed like some crazy person to Michael, but he was very nice about it. Later he learned that, yes, I was serious, and Prescott Creeks got on board. The very next weekend I attended a lecture by Dana Cohn, art instructor at Yavapai College, who commented he had done a few murals here. Little did I know I was talking to the artist who has done more than seven local murals, including “PRESCOTT” behind St Michael’s and the Prescott Library mural.
As a first step, I contacted the City of Prescott to find out who owned the wall and was told the city did. Tyler Goodman was encouraging, so off I went. We later found out Chase Bank and Rox Media own the wall. Fortunately, the folks there have been supremely reasonable about the project’s idea. Sharlot Hall Museum and the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council were also immediately encouraging.
It has been a whirlwind ever since. We formed a 501c3 Arizona non-profit and began talking to everyone we met. Along the way, Rob Strain suggested adding wildlife; so, we did. From there we have received the support of hundreds of residents and businesses.
Once completed, this mural will be more than 400 feet long. The finished artwork will depict a natural forest and creek, well-known local scenes, and more than 150 species of local birds and wildlife. Prescott Audubon the Highland Center will help ensure accuracy. Sarah Vincent of the Highland Center suggested as an educational component via QR coding. There is simply no other outdoor art project with the scope and breadth of this one. It is intended to make Prescott a destination for muralists, bird and nature enthusiasts, students, and art lovers from all over.
To learn more, visit www.trailmurals.com.