By Jacob Hamel | Editor
WHEATLAND — The Platte County Art Guild recently completed a mural on the north side the Exercise Here gym on 9th Street in downtown Wheatland.
This mural was made to commemorate the Wheatland Roller Mill Co (flour mill) that was in business from 1897 to 1931. The Art Guild started the mural on June 9 and finished it mid-June.
According to Helen Rutz, one of the artists, the Art Guild started painting murals around Wheatland around 10 years ago, when they made one near Cinema West, dedicated to the Wheatland Centennial.
“We’ve had probably 35 artists participate over the 10-year period, as young as 9 and as old as 90,” Rutz said.
Rutz said everything is donated — paint, materials, and labor. She estimates artists have spent a total of 3,000 hours on the murals around town.
“I think there are 12 or more murals in Wheatland,” Rutz said. She said there is also another mural in Chugwater along Main Street.
Although the Art Guild started painting murals 10 years ago, some of the first murals in Wheatland were made as early as the 1930’s.
Rutz said the first mural finished in Wheatland was on the south side of the Landmark Bar, showing a paintbrush map of Wyoming, created by Harry Dearinger. “It was refurbished a time or two, but it was our very first mural in downtown Wheatland ever,” Rutz said.
Rutz said this type of public art has been around so long, and the Art Guild is just trying to keep the tradition alive.
Donors of the Wheatland Roller Mill Co mural include: The Town of Wheatland, Hillside Rentals, Laurel Marker, and Steve and Vicki Parmley.
The painters of the mural are: Leroy and Helen Rutz, Bonnie Parker, Kathy Hamar, Ashley Hitt, Mayor Joe Fabian, Curt Artery, Connie Eller, Jo Lawrence, Mary Ann Koons and Prestin Ring.
ABOVE: The finished Wheatland Roller Mill mural.
(Photo by Jacob Hamel)