BY JENNY GOLDSBERRY
Have you seen the mural painted on the Monroe tunnel? This is the story behind that mural and the hundred hands that made it happen. First, it was an idea in the mind of Visit Ogden CEO, Sara Toliver.
It was up to Sara and her organization to host the Utah Tourism Conference in August. As hosts, they got to choose a “giveback” as part of Utah’s Forever Mighty Project. Sara saw that there was a lot of potential for cleanup service projects around the community but wanted to also create a more unique opportunity for the volunteers to engage in our community. Notably, she thought of the tunnel along the Ogden River Parkway. Long-time residents may remember that previously artists had painted it. Those early efforts were painted over at the time. So, Sara decided the giveback would be a mural in the same spot.
Sara’s team came up with a design. Everyone wanted to reflect Ogden’s “mountain to metro” destination theme. The Ogden City Arts, Culture, and Events Division Manager, Christy McBride, plotted out the mural on the tunnel walls. Then, the Visit Ogden and Ogden City’s Arts teams got to work taping it off into a grid so that many volunteers could paint at once.
On the day of the project, over 100 volunteers signed up. As a result, Visit Ogden was able to assign many volunteers to clean-up efforts along the parkway while others painted. They finished the mural in three hours.
Following the volunteer work, local artist, Richard Ramos, came to help paint the more intricate part of the artwork. He incorporated Shalae Larsen’s historic 25th street-scape into the design.
Today you can see 25th Street with the backdrop of the mountains painted by a hundred hands. They’ve all left their mark on the mural. You can visit Monroe Tunnel by parking at the Ogden MTC Botanical Gardens and walking west on the Ogden River Parkway towards Lorin Farr Park.