Local artists create artwork for The Boatyard in Frisco during wee hours
Silverthorne artist Bonnie Norling Wakeman has created sculpted relief murals for private homes and businesses all over Summit County, but it’s not often that you will find her on site, up to her elbows in plaster and glaze, at 3 a.m.
That was the case, however, for one of her latest installments, at The Boatyard American Grill in Frisco. Restaurant owner Cindy Spaulding commissioned the artist to create a one-of-a-kind piece with one caveat — she had to work outside the Boatyard’s operating hours.
“We’ve never done anything quite like that, where we had to work in the middle of the night,” Norling Wakeman said of her team, including her husband, Joe Wakeman, and artist Jill O’Connor. “You come to Frisco at 3 a.m. and there’s nobody around. It was a bit of a challenge, too, because we had to unload, get all of our stuff set up at 3, and then completely tear down and clean up every single day because they’re a restaurant and they’re open.”
The mural stretches across the soffit above the open kitchen and depicts a Summit County scene with mountains, aspen trees, boats floating on the Dillon Reservoir and an osprey in flight. A metallic glaze over some of the details adds a contemporary look that contrasts with the dark brown of the restaurant’s walls. Because of the stop-and-start nature of the piece, customers were able to see the mural as it progressed throughout the week that it took to complete.
“It was so much fun to be in a place like the Boatyard. I’ve always loved that restaurant, so we felt really excited and great about being there,” Norling Wakeman said, adding that Spaulding was pleased with the work. “I went back there to hang a little plaque that says it’s my work and contact information, and she said everyone just loves it. They’re taking pictures of it; it’s really neat the reactions she’s getting.”
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