Tunnel Vision to Begin Phase 2

A community mural painting project begins on Sept. 13; volunteers are still needed to paint 4,000 square feet of interior tunnel wall

By Maggie Dresser
Artist Kristy "Krusty" Overman puts the finishing touches on her mural on a pedestrian tunnel near Glacier High School as part of a collaborative project called “Tunnel Vision” on July 28, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

In an effort to beautify Kalispell’s blank walls along the Great Northern Historical Trail, Tunnel Vision 2021 will begin Phase 2 of its citywide project on Sept. 13 with a community-painted mural on the interior walls of the pedestrian tunnel behind My Place Hotel.

Artist Griffin Foster, who is based out of Bozeman, will lead volunteers in a process similar to paint-by-number, to create a fern foliage design on the 4,000 square-foot tunnel.

“We still need lots of volunteers,” project coordinator Kip Smith said. “We’re looking for groups, service clubs, schools and different civics groups along with individuals.”

Nonprofit Rails-to-Trails of Northwest Montana began collaborating with KALICO Art Center a few years ago to form Tunnel Vision 2021 and recently completed four murals at the entrances of the U.S. Highway 93 Bypass tunnel on Treeline Drive and the Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC)/Kidsports connector tunnel, painted by professional artists.

Next year, artists will complete the entrances to the Lone Pine tunnel, which extends under the Kalispell Bypass south of Foys Lake, and its interior along with the FVCC/Kidsports tunnel interior.

“We continue to be thrilled with the amount of community support and we hope people are enjoying the new community art,” Smith said. “We hope people come to participate or come and watch it developed and we’re excited for the next phase.”

To volunteer, sign up at www.signupgenius.com and search chair@kalicoartcenter.com.

To donate to Tunnel Vision 2021, contact Kip Smith at kipmansmith@gmail.com.

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