Wild City, a mural by Emily Herr, brightens the China Bridge parking structure.

Lately, art is cropping up cropping up in some unexpected places, transforming Park City’s drab underpasses and parking structures into vibrant canvases. Behind the scenes is an organization that’s been rallying for art since 1986, the Park City Summit County Arts Council (pcscarts.org). Now, thanks to the energetic leadership of new executive director Jocelyn Scudder—who has spearheaded recent murals and pop-up art experiences across disciplines—public art is having its moment.

Jocelyn Scudder

Image: Erin Morris

“Art brings a community together,” says Scudder. “It inspires conversation, it’s an outlet for expression, and it’s a product that can generate hope.” Raised by an artistic family in Connecticut, Scudder majored in art at St. Lawrence University, focusing on printmaking and contemporary art theory. She then landed in Park City for a post-grad hiatus before heading back east for a stint at a New York City nonprofit, Lower East Side Printshop. Five years later, she returned to Park City to take a job at the Kimball Art Centerand, after four years, she joined the Arts Council as its community manager. When the board began a search for a new director, Scudder was the natural choice.

Public Art Finds

Much of Summit County’s public art is accessible by biking or walking along public trails. From City Park, head up to Main Street through the Poison Creek Tunnel to find a mural detailing Life in An Ontario Mine. Farther up the street, check out the new mural series in the China Bridge Parking Garage, Wild City, by Emily Herr. On the other side of town, The Future Is Now tunnel mural—the result of a community engagement project pairing New York–based urban artist Bisco Smith with local youths—runs from Redstone Shopping Center under Highway 224 toward the Skullcandy Building. 

This summer, don’t be surprised if you happen upon an opera singer accompanying a quartet at one of the local “Art for All Pianos” (public pianos painted by artists). “This project [free concerts pairing Utah Symphony and Utah Opera with the piano program] in particular breaks down a lot of boundaries, making symphony orchestra and opera music accessible for all,” Scudder explains. “Connecting the dots with local art organizations is something we love to do. We lift each other up and elevate our individual missions when we partner like this.”

For a map of Park City’s public art, check out parkcity.org/about-us/public-art; for Summit County’s public art, visit summitcounty.org.

 

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