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After long wait, Carbondale Arts to paint community mural this weekend


The plans began before the pandemic, but paint will finally hit panels on a new community mural in Carbondale this weekend.

The public is invited to help paint a 56-foot-long mural on the CenturyLink building on the corner of Fourth and Main streets in the heart of the Carbondale Arts District, and looking across the road to the Fourth Street Plaza. The mural’s artists are welcoming assistance from the community, regardless of painting experience, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The piece, composed of different panels partitioned by windows, is intended to be a Carbondale-unifying piece, according to lead artist Gayle Embrey.

“We really are spanning the history of Carbondale through the lens of people that are in our community now,” Embrey said. “I believe we’re giving the community what they asked for, and hopefully by participating with us it will become everybody’s.”



The mural was designed by Embrey, Brian Colley, Steve Keohane and Vanessa Porras. It was intended to source themes from a public meeting about what was important to Carbondale residents. The pandemic, however, forced the meeting online and into a survey.

The artists received more than 150 responses, Embrey said, more than she believes would have shown up to the meeting. The results were an emphasis on the town’s history, diversity and position in nature.

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Three long, skinny panels along the top show the skyline with Mount Sopris separating day and night. The three lower panels show wildlife, Dia de los Muertos celebration and the town’s flower, the dandelion. A 58-inch dandelion head stands alone on the panel closest to the Main Street corner.

The team secured a sponsor, FirstBank, and enlisted the help of more artists — Christie Interlante, Lindsay Jones, Gabriela Mejia, Sally Nicholson and Michael Stout.

The panels began being placed in recent weeks, with the last one posted on Thursday with sketches for the artists to follow.

Based on skill level, assistants can help fill large spaces in the background to even detail work on some of the skeletons.

Those that don’t want to paint but want to help clean up, play music or bring food and drink are encouraged to join.

“It has been a long time coming,” Embrey said. “It’s for the community and hopefully by the community as well.”


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