Program to bring art to the Riverfront Trail

A new program is expected to improve the experience of people using the Riverfront Trail in the Grand Valley.

The Art on the Riverfont Trail program will transform underpasses along the Riverfront Trail into artistic expressions. Murals will change annually, bringing new and designs to the trail. The program also will provide spaces for budding artists to showcase their work.

The Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture and Riverfront Commission have joined in the effort along with a coalition that includes the City of Grand Junction community development, parks and recreation and public works departments; Colorado Department of Transportation; Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Mesa County Health Department, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Super Rad Art Jam and Urban Trails Committee.

Five areas along the Riverfront Trail with a total of 14 locations have been identified for murals. Sites that will be subject to a vetting process include the Redlands Parkway underpass, Lower No Thoroughfare underpass, Highway 340 – Riverside underpass, and Highway 50 and Fifth Street bridge underpass.

The cost of the murals will be the responsibility of the individual artists. Donations of in-kind materials and services as well as money will be solicited to sustain the program and provide artists a stipend.

The Art on the Riverfront Trail program is scheduled to officially begin Oct. 15. Applications for vetted sites soon will be accepted.

The Hispanic Affairs Project commissioned mural will be painted Oct. 15, which coincides with the new art festival planned for downtown Grand Junction to showcase local art.

The Art on the Riverfront Trail is expected to promote tourism and economic development by creating a more desirable experience along the Riverfront Trail that in turn attracts more people to the area and local businesses.

Delta, Castle Rock and Pueblo all have used mural art to decrease vandalism, encourage economic growth, and expand their public art programs.