Mural project underway at Jefferson County Lake
RIGBY – Upper Valley Child Advocacy Center in Rigby is partnering with a team of local artists to create a mural on the wall at Jefferson County Lake.
The project got underway about a month ago and is visible from U.S. Highway 20 on the east side of the lake. The name of the lake can be seen on the front, along with the phrase “You are enough.”
UVCAC Program Director Ashely Stallings tells EastIdahoNews.com the purpose of the mural is to raise awareness of suicide prevention.
“Suicide is something we deal with or see among the clients we serve. During the COVID situation, we’ve seen an increase (in mental health issues) … so we felt it was a timely message,” Stallings says. “The semicolon (at the end) is the sign for suicide prevention.”
The mural will eventually include a mental health hotline number and a nature scene. It is expected to be completed in the next several weeks, barring any weather-related delays.
Brenna Draper is the lead artist on the project and she says the mural’s message is already resonating with people.
“People have reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, I saw part of that mural on the way to work and it brightened my day,” Draper says. “It’s rewarding to know that people are able to see it and that it’s helping them feel encouraged.”
The cost of the project is around $2,000, which Jefferson County Parks & Rec. Director Mickey Eames says is coming directly from lake admission purchases.
Parks & Rec. has been interested in painting the wall since its completion last summer, Stalling says. The center works with the county every year for a charity run/walk and began looking into it.
“We had partnered with Bonneville Youth Development Council because they had done some (murals) in Idaho Falls. They had to step back because they had some other responsibilities, so we decided to head up the project,” says Stalling.
Draper started volunteering at the center several months ago and employees quickly discovered she was an art education major at Brigham Young University-Idaho.
“They said, ‘Do you want to do a mural?’ I said, ‘Of course!’ It really just fell into my lap,” says Draper.
It took several months to get the project approved.
In March, UVCAC relocated to its current Rigby location. The response from the community was tremendous, Stalling says, and they felt the mural was a great way to say thank you.
“We’re honored to be a small part of this project that’s going to give back to the community and hopefully, (bring) happiness and joy to everyone,” says Stalling.
This is Draper’s first major art project and she’s thrilled for the opportunity. Others involved in the project include Alexis Mahrt, Emma Johnson and Casey Frerichs.
Eames is hoping to add some maps and interactive exhibits on the inside of the wall next spring.