Legacy Plaza signature feature’s time has come

Artist Michael Moonbird works on designing the artwork that will cover on eof 360 porcelain glazed tiles that will form a mural that will make up Legacy Wall, a key element of Gunnison’s Legacy Plaza, which sits on the same property as the old Top Stop that leaked thousands of gallons of gasoline under the city’s Main Street a decade ago. Until now, the clocktower—installed in 2013—has been the plaza’s most prominent element.


Legacy Plaza signature feature’s time has come


Clara Hatcher

Staff writer



GUNNISON—A completed public-art masterpiece that will be the signature feature of Gunnson’s Legacy Wall is on scheduled to be unveiled in just about two months,

After nearly seven years of work and the efforts of hundreds of people, the art installation—a mural made of glazed porcelain tiles—will be inaugurated at a celebration set for Saturday, Sept. 23.

“It’s going to be a big deal,” said Lori Nay, who is a Legacy Wall Committee member, and also the cofounder and director of the Casino Star Theatre Foundation.

The Casino Star Theatre Foundation is the primary sponsor of the Legacy Wall art project. Nay has been working with fellow Foundation cofounder Diana Spencer for years to complete the project.

The celebration in September will include closing part of Gunnison’s Center Street to make room for a live band, food, games, chalk art and the mural’s unveiling at what is known now as the city’s Legacy Paza.

Although the mural will be covered during the installation process, Nay said there will be peep-holes for people to check on the project’s progress.

According to Nay, the project attempts to reflect a “personal history that the people of Gunnison can connect with.” The mural itself will be made by 360 one-foot-square tiles made of porcelain that have been glazed, covered with “images of local life and history.”

While many of the tiles are being prepared by professional artists, some of them were designed by kids in the community who previously made them in an arts and education project run by the Casino Star Theatre Foundation.

In addition to colorful scenes from the valley, historic portraits of significant people and places will complete the wall and “honor local history.”

“In reality, we have been working on this for more than seven years,” Nay said. “In that time, we have worked with more than 2,000 people to pull this together.”

Nay said that people in the city started to get serious about the Legacy Wall project once the clocktower (which stands in Legacy Plaza with the to-be-built Legacy Wall mural) was built in 2013. But, the project really goes back to the Top Stop gas leak in 2007, according to Nay.

Jon Riddle of Salt Lake City and his crew of artistic tile installers have been preparing the bare concrete wall which will soon be the Legacy Wall mural. Riddle will begin applying tiles on Aug. 10. Curved benches will provide seating for viewers of the panorama.

“I think it illustrates the past and present and everything that is great about Gunnison Valley,” Nay said. “We want it to be very personal to everyone.”

Donations are still needed to complete the Legacy project. The committee is sponsoring a raffle offering a scooter, a gazebo and various other prizes to be given away the evening of the celebration. Individual donations will also be accepted, and donors giving $1,000 or more will have their names permanently engraved on a plaque next to the wall.

Donations can be sent to Casino Star Theatre Foundation, c/o Lori Nay, Project Manager, PO Box 429, Gunnison, UT, 84634. All donations are tax deductible.