Park City Invites The Community To Help Artist Paint The China Bridge Murals

Sep 5, 2018

A couple of years ago, Park City’s Public Art Board identified the China Bridge parking garage as a location where they’d like to see artwork. The city has since contracted with artist Emily Herr [her] out of Virginia. KPCW’s Melissa Allison tells you how you can get involved:

China Bridge was originally built in the 1880’s at what used to be known as Park City’s Chinatown, demonstrating that race and labor discrimination existed from the beginning.

The wooden bridge was built by residents of Rossi Hill who didn’t want to mingle with the Chinese immigrants who worked in the mines and railroad.

Now 140-some years later, the bridge has gone from wood to cement and in an effort to bring the community together – Park City has commissioned an artist to paint a mural on all four levels which she has entitled, “Wild City.”

Though six artists submitted proposals, it was Emily Herr’s work the art board chose. Special Events Manager Jenny Diersen said it was inspired by Park City’s history, landscape and vegetation.

“What’s great is each of the walls in China Bridge actually have an underpainting," Diersen said. "And so, there’s various themes depending on what level of the garage, so it might tie to our history in the mining era or the ski legacy or our Olympic heritage. Those are the underpaintings and then she actullly goes back on top of that with an assistant and some local artists and then will be actually doing a floral scene as well as a landscape scene that she’ll be finishing on top of that. The underpainting will be underneath and then the flowers will really pop out.”

Diersen said Herr will be in Park City all this month and wants the community’s help to get each of the floors done. Those interested need to act quick since only 25 people will be selected to help each weekend.

“So we are having a public information session on Monday, September 10 in council chambers so it’s just up here at City Hall," Diersen said. "And really its an opportunity to meet the artist and learn about her process. Each weekends, starting this weekend, and then also the subsequent weekends.”

Registration and the meeting on the 10th is required to participate. It begins at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall’s Council Chambers. However, Herr will begin painting this weekend and those interested should sign up now.

Diersen said they’d even like to see children involved in the public art which cost the city $40,000 dollars.You can find more information at parkcity.org.

I’m Melissa Allison, KPCW News.