When a mural went up on the side of Castle Rock Bike and Ski, located in the community’s historic downtown area, owners K.C. and Mark Neel hoped the public would appreciate it. Soon they noticed …
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When a mural went up on the side of Castle Rock Bike and Ski, located in the community’s historic downtown area, owners K.C. and Mark Neel hoped the public would appreciate it.
Soon they noticed high school seniors posing for their senior photos outside their building. Before long, it seemed like a dozen students had followed suit. And then, they saw a couple get engaged in front of the painting.
That’s exactly what they hoped the mural would inspire, K.C. Neel said.
Neel and fellow Castle Rock business owners Joe Givan and Carol Massie said they installed murals on their buildings to not only draw attention to their businesses, but also to bring public art benefits to Castle Rock.
“Public art just lends a sense of culture to a community,” Givan said.
The mural on the Neel building, 411 Fourth St., is approximately 18 by 40 feet and a swirling array of purples, blues, oranges and greens. Amid the colors is The Rock, backdropped by mountains, all painted by the Louviers-based artist Christine Rose Curry. Work began in June and finished in August.
“We’re sort of funky and we’re different,” Neel said. “So, I wanted that to be on display.”
Givan and Massie run the Theatre of Dreams, 735 Park St., an event space and venue for magic shows from throughout the world. Travelers leaving the downtown district along Park Street can see the mural from the road, Givan and Massie said, or enjoy it while waiting in line for a show.
Joe designed the 12-by-25-foot graphic, which was printed on adhesive paper and hung near their front entrance. The project began in February and wrapped up in August. It fulfilled a dream the couple had since they opened their business 15 years ago, they said.
Both businesses received approval from the town’s design review board for their projects.
Neel believes public art — on businesses, in alleys and throughout town — would help create a livelier downtown and inspire people to spend time in the area. Givan and Massie said art helps give a community a sense of identity.
And while they enjoy the attention the art garners their operations, Neel, Givan and Massie said they hope they’re far from the last to pursue public art.
“I’m hoping,” Neel said, “that other business owners and property owners will want to do the same.”
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