Artist hopes to put wildlife murals in every county in Utah

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HEBER —Wasatch County is as good a place as any for the outdoors, but the outdoors have come to town in a way nobody could have predicted.

At the southeast corner of 400 S. Main Street, a mural of two brown trout now boldly decorates the side of the Mountainview Laundromat.

“It’s called ‘Foam is Home,’” artist Chris Peterson said. “It’s a fishing adage but it makes sense because it’s a laundromat and the bubbles and stuff.”

Peterson was putting on some final touches of an ultraviolet protectant and anti-graffiti coat Monday.

Commissioned by Heber City and in partnership with the Utah Wildlife Federation, the mural is part of an even bigger undertaking.

“Utah Wildlife Walls project is all about installing at least one monumental mural in each of Utah’s 29 counties focused on celebrating local wildlife species.”

The Heber mural is the project’s fourth mural, with other works of art now standing in Sugar House, Midvale, and Vernal.

Peterson said additional murals were already planned for Moab, Panguitch, Logan, and Antelope Island.

“Most of the murals so far have been fish actually,” Peterson acknowledged. “In Midvale, I did a golden eagle and a rattlesnake.”

Peterson said he has always found the outdoors to be therapeutic and painting wildlife has proven to be so as well.

“It feels good to make animal murals,” Peterson said. “This really allows me to focus on the positive.”

He hoped others would reflect and appreciate the murals when they saw them.

“In rural places, wildlife is part of the community, it’s part of the culture, it’s part of the reason why you live in those places—so you can have those encounters,” Peterson said. “That, to me, seems like a great reason to partner with small towns to put big, amazing wildlife murals in their towns that celebrate things they already love.”

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