Artist Sierra Smith unveils her piece “Wyoming Remembers” on Sept. 3, in collaboration with the Platte Valley Arts Council in a celebration of seven new public art pieces placed throughout the valley. Courtesy
Artist Lori Kostur unveils her piece “Lake Marie” on Sept. 3. Courtesy photo/Platte Valley Arts Council
Artist Sierra Smith and her sculpture, “Wyoming Remembers.” Courtesy photo/Platte Valley Arts Council

Artist Sierra Smith unveils her piece “Wyoming Remembers” on Sept. 3, in collaboration with the Platte Valley Arts Council in a celebration of seven new public art pieces placed throughout the valley. Courtesy
Artist Lori Kostur unveils her piece “Lake Marie” on Sept. 3. Courtesy photo/Platte Valley Arts Council
Artist Sierra Smith and her sculpture, “Wyoming Remembers.” Courtesy photo/Platte Valley Arts Council
All through the winter, the public is invited to view more than a half dozen new public art pieces in the Upper North Platte River Valley.
The works represent not only the beauty of the valley, they’re the culmination of months of collaboration between local artists, the Platte Valley Arts Council, volunteers and donors. The Platte Valley Arts Council recently held a public art grand reveal to showcase seven new murals and sculptures in the area.
“Six local artists were chosen based on their amazing talents to participate in this project. The artists have been working on their pieces since January,” said Stacy Crimmins, project coordinator and member of the Platte Valley Arts Council board of directors.
Based on each artist’s concept, the Arts Council worked with several sites to install the new art pieces. The artwork is owned by PVAC, but site hosts will be special stewards of the art.
“We appreciate their willingness to work together on the project,” Crimmins said.
The seven pieces were created by Lori Kostur, John Perue, Sierra Smith, Jerry Wood, Jamie Waugh and Jerry Palen, who was honored posthumously.
• Waugh’s mural is visible at the Sage Motel in Saratoga.
• Perue’s installation of stained-glass sculptures is at Firewater Public House.
• Wood’s sculpture sits in the lobby of the Platte Valley Community Center.
• Kostur has a sculpture at the Grand Encampment Museum as well as a mural in the North Platte Valley Medical Center.
A project this size takes years of planning and began in earnest in August 2021. Several grant requests were made in hopes to cover projected budget expenses of almost $105,000, according to Crimmins. The in-kind donations were calculated to be more than $17,000. After a first grant award of $50,000 by the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, the Arts Council pursued other funding and was eventually awarded $67,500 in grants.
The PVAC board chose to use six local artists who started their projects in February 2022. Over the next several months, the board planned a couple fundraisers, including the tile mosaic mural. In addition, PVAC continued all its usual projects and programs.
“At last count, we were well over $16,000 worth of donated hours from the board,” Crimmins said.
Each piece showcases a unique part of life in the valley. Kostur’s triptych mural, which will be hung inside the main entrance of the new North Platte Valley Medical Center, features Lake Marie in the Snowy Mountains.
“My goal is to try to translate the love I have for this area to others, through the subjects that I paint and sculpt, by painting and sculpting the subjects I love,” Kostur said.
Kostur often paints plein air using oils and also created a small bronze called “Singlejack” displayed in the Grand Encampment Museum as a tribute to the copper mining heritage.
Perue’s installation, “Wyoming Wind Flowers,” at Firewater Public House was inspired by the constant energy of wind. Perue created several stained-glass flowers that will move with the patterns of the breezes and can be interactive on still days.
“In order to survive winters in Wyoming you need to have some hobbies,” Perue said.
Perue became interested in recycling objects into art as a child, and learned sewing, leathercraft, wood working, photography and framing. When remodeling his first house he wanted to add some stained glass and took a class to learn how to do it himself. Perue’s stained-glass work can also be viewed at the Presbyterian Church in Saratoga.
Smith collaborated with the family of Staff Sergeant Tyler Pickett, a Saratoga native who died in 2008 during During Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her piece, “Wyoming Remembers,” includes several personal items, as well as objects meant to honor all who have served in the armed forces. Pickett’s mother, according to the Arts Council, wanted the memorial piece to reflect his “humble personality and point to the sacrifices also made by so many others.”
Waugh, who is known for her jewelry work in sterling silver under the name Bandita Bones, created “Alone, Not Lonely,” depicting a cowboy and featuring a line of cowboy poetry by Chuck Larsen.
Wood’s carving, “Two’s the Limit,” is installed at the Platte Valley Community Center and features two trout, emblematic of the valley.
In addition to professional artists’ work, the Public Art Project includes the community as well.
Art students at Encampment School painted a special “paint-by-number” mural on the fence at Harmony Park. The Arts Council will feature one of Jerry Palen’s “Elmo and Flo” cartoons on the fence with the hope of continuing with a new panel each year.
The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, Bridge Street Bargains, Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming Business Council Rural Development, Wyoming Community Foundation and Power Company of Wyoming provided funding for the Platte Valley Public Art Project. In addition, art patrons and supporters have made donations to the project on the PVAC Facebook Page, on their newly designed website, and donated and purchased silent auction items.
Sorry, an error occurred.

Would you like to receive our daily news? Sign up today!
Would you like to receive our daily news? Sign up today!
Sign up with

Thank you .
Your account has been registered, and you are now logged in.
Check your email for details.
Invalid password or account does not exist
Sign in with
Submitting this form below will send a message to your email with a link to change your password.
An email message containing instructions on how to reset your password has been sent to the e-mail address listed on your account.

Secure & Encrypted
Secure transaction. Cancel anytime.

Thank you.
Your purchase was successful, and you are now logged in.
A receipt was sent to your email.

source

Shop Sephari