Through the eyes of children comes a vibrant, colorful mural of Rifle | PostIndependent.com

Through the eyes of children comes a vibrant, colorful mural of Rifle

Creative art students at Rifle Middle School saw a bear, an eagle, a trout, a cowboy, Rifle Falls, an outline of the Bookcliffs, Ute Indian arrows, colorful Columbine flowers and the sun when they thought of Rifle.

So a mural they designed and created that portray all those features should naturally be called "Rifle Through The Eyes," the name they chose for the 16-foot-long by 4-foot-high mural unveiled on Friday, Sept. 6, at the Rifle Branch Library during the monthly First Friday events.

Chris McLean, an artist and the school's art club sponsor, teaches English language learners at the middle school. He and his wife, Lindsay, also an artist, oversaw the five-month project through the Second Shift after-school program sponsored by Access Roaring Fork. The Rifle Main Street program supplied the mural's materials.

McLean said the finished mural is covered with a special see-through coating to protect it from weather and graffiti, since the plan is to find a location to publicly display it for all to enjoy.

"We'd like to have it near our main street, where people driving by can see it," he added. "We always stressed the craftsmanship of doing something like this, so it took a long time. But it has these great, vibrant colors."

Working for about an hour and a half a week, McLean calculated the students put about 48 hours of work into the mural.

"We wanted to have something that stood alone from the other murals that are around the city," McLean added. "But we didn't want it to be completely different, either. I think it has its own voice, but there's some consistency with the other public art in the city."

The students named on a plaque given to McLean by Main Street program coordinator Dana Ingram during the unveiling lists the students as Emma Thate, Koylie Boyd, Madison Glidewell, Madison Teter, Dalton Byrd, Jamie Green, Kaitlyn Delage, Kalli Nichol and Tanner Boyd. McLean said the students were in fifth through eighth grades.