A mural of a photograph was recently placed on the exterior of the building that houses the offices of Visit Clearfield County office. The art work highlights the beauty of the trees growing along the riverbank in Clearfield during the spring.
The mural was created from a photograph taken by Haley Owens of Clearfield. Owens, a 2019 graduate of Clearfield Area High School, was the winner in a contest sponsored by Visit Clearfield County and the Susquehanna River Art Center of Clearfield.
Owens, who is currently taking classes in phlebotomy, creates art and takes photographs as her free time allows. She was also a member of a group of students who created the murals painted on the wall at Shaw Park and on the Clearfield Arts Studio Theatre building.
Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority Director Josiah Jones said he had proposed a contest to SRAC member and Liddle Gallery Owner Jody Grumblatt as a way to encourage people to visit downtown Clearfield and to increase awareness of SRAC does and the classes offered there.
“So we created a contest,” Jones said, adding there were 30 entries submitted by SRACC members including photographs and paintings that “highlighted various areas of Clearfield County. It was a chance to work together to promote both tourism and the arts in the county,” he explained.
Jones said “Haley’s entry really stood out.” He said the cherry trees along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River enhance the river’s beauty and the landscape along the waterway. Owens’ photograph captured the trees at the peak of their bloom.
Owens said she too thought the scene was appealing when she took the photo about five years ago.
“Those trees stood out to me. Some years they are not always that vibrant but that day was just one of those perfect times that showed the beauty of Clearfield.”
Grumblatt said although SRACC has been established approximately 50 years to provide opportunities to exhibit original art and conduct programs for the development of art, many of its members are long-time ones. Grumblatt said she hopes the contest would encourage more photographers and artists to both join the organization and enter the contest.
“We need some young energy,” she said.
Jones said there was some discussion about where to place the mural and it was decided to install it on the wall closest to Rural King.
“Rural King is such a draw to Clearfield County. We wanted to place the mural on the side closest to the store in a location where people would see it. The mural will provide people with an opportunity to talk about the art gallery and a local artists. It fulfills the original purpose of the contest which was to educate people about Clearfield County and what’s available here.”
Plans are currently in the works for a second contest to be held in summer of 2020.