John Perue selected for public art display
Pairing art and repurposed materials is not foreign to Rawlins–born artist John Perue.The Platte Valley Arts Council (PVAC) chose the Saratoga resident to create one of seven new public art displays.
Despite no formal art training, Perue learned at an early age that arts, crafts and hobbies could help one through the long Wyoming winters. With limited access to materials, tools and machinery, he learned to be resourceful in recycling and repurposing what was available.
Perue has teamed up with his wife Linda Fisher-Perue, an art teacher and artist herself, to explore art principles and design elements.
“When we travel, we are always looking for new and different creative forms and ideas,” Perue said. “We also enjoy studying history and other cultures to understand their creative methods and processes.”
Perue’s piece for the PVAC public art display project, “Wyoming Wind Flowers,” incorporates his skill of repurposing items and stain glass work.
“‘Wyoming Wind Flowers’” originated with putting stained glass between the spokes of a bent bicycle wheel,” Perue said. “At first the idea was just to display the glass in the wheel. The concept evolved into seeing if I could get the wheel to spin with the aid of the wind.”
Perue said his decorated bicycle wheels for the PVAC will sit in half whiskey barrels. Each barrel will receive two or three wheels and be outfitted with solar powered lights. The piece will complement the Firewater Public House in Saratoga. Three barrels will sit inside the fenced area under trees, and a fourth will be near the restaurant’s entrance.
Public Art Funding
PVAC will compensate each artist for their talents and the material needed to execute and install the piece of art. Funding for the public art displays comes from grants, business partners, and donations. The Platte Valley Public Art Project is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the Wyoming Community Foundation, the Carbon County Visitors Council, and the Wyoming Business Council - Rural Development. Bridge Street Bargains in Saratoga also supports the project with a $5,000 grant.
PVAC has identified several locations for the public art displays considering ease of physical access by the public, the willingness of property owners to partner with PVAC for maintenance needs, and the relevanceof the artwork to the location.
Once the artists complete their pieces, PVAC will host a Grand Reveal Event in September.
PVAC will also launch a new website that will highlight the new public art pieces, existing murals, and other public art in the Platte Valley. Photos, descriptions, artist information, and a map indicating locations will be included. The website will be promoted through the Saratoga - Platte ValleyChamber of Commerce, restaurants and motels, and other public locations. The artwork will have permanent signage notating project donors and sponsors.
Those interested in supporting the Public Art Project can contribute here.
About Platte ValleyArts Council
The Platte Valley Arts Council (PVAC) is a membership-based nonprofit, incorporated in May 1993 to foster awareness and participation in any form of the arts to develop a vibrant and cohesive community. PVAC won the Wyoming Governor’s Art Award in 1997. PVAC demonstrates that art can be a partof our everyday lives.