Late last week, Ben was commissioned to install a mural–on the fly–for JHMR.
Thanks to Ned Wonson and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for their images and article about the mural project! Here’s what Ben had to say about the last three days of making art and installing his mural, Full Moon Aspens, out at Teton Village:
The mural needed to happen quickly and in cold conditions. My collaborator, Mike Parris, and I got lucky on the first day of work with above 30 degree temperatures. We got the entire 130 ft. wall painted black and then went off site to figure out the composition of the forest and the best technique for painting the trees. We set up several sample boards and experimented with varying width paint rollers and different degrees of opacity. I also spent time with a fine brush and India ink determining the shapes of trunks and numbers of knots and eyes.
The second day on site we just drew the 91 trees with big pieces of chalk taped to painting poles. It was an enjoyable and meditative process. I felt like I was training with Mr. Miyagi, â€œChalk line up. Chalk line down.â€ The weather was deteriorating and we had a feeling we were going to have to build a shelter to paint the trees. Once that was in place we wouldnâ€™t be able to step back from the piece to consider the composition. After the trees were drawn, however, we would just have to fill in the lines.
Day three began with fort building. Mikeâ€™s five years of Architecture school came in handy. He designed us a sweet half tunnel using ten 20 foot flexible PVC pipes, a hundred feet of plastic and some zip-ties. We anchored one end of the pvc in the snow on the roof of the walkway, flexed it and then stuck the other end in the ground. The plastic will be re-used next summer on a greenhouse and the PVC will carry the irrigation. Our shelter covered half the wall so we got about 60 feet painted.
The last day we recruited some friends to help move the shelter and then we fired off the rest of the trees. We both enjoyed listening to the quotes of passers-by and their enthusiasm toward the finished work. Thereâ€™s a lot of good stoke out at Teton Village. We ended the day singing songs in the Boom Boom Room. So Fun! â€“ Ben Roth