AVON — First came spring, then summer, and soon enough we’ll see the beginning strokes of fall.
We’re not talking about the actual seasons, but the series of colorful murals that artist Mason Torry has faithfully been painting in Avon most evenings since mid-May. In case you haven’t noticed, Avon has been busy getting gussied up this summer. Along with new bronze sculptures scattered around town, there’s a series of four large-scale murals going up on the building that’s home to Sports Authority and Pier 1 in Avon. The project is being financed by David and Jerri Hoffmann, of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, as part of their redevelopment of Avon.
Within the arched, blank spaces, Torry saw natural frames, and since there are four of them, mother nature’s quartet came to mind.
“People seem to be loving it,” said Torry, an Avon resident who is a self-taught artist. “Everyone who comes by, they’re loving the ideas of it.”
Some passersby return nearly every night to check on Torry’s progress and chat with the artist, who is a land surveyor by day.
“I have certain people who come by every night almost,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun actually. The people have embraced it, as far as I know.”
Torry’s wife, Marie, brings a camp chair and sits near her husband as he paints most evenings. The murals give new meaning to the term “community art.”
“We have seen and spoken to so many families and individuals, both local residents and tourists,” Marie said. “Art on such a scale is so inspiring. Kids are loving it. It is especially fun to have the same folks stop by as pedestrians to simply come see the progress and chat for a short while about the beauty and what’s coming next.”
MORE THAN A ‘PRETTY LANDSCAPE’
Wildridge resident Lisa Currey and her husband, Doug, are friends with Mason and Marie Torry.
“His pictures tell a story. They aren’t just a pretty landscape,” Lisa said. “The way he does it is amazing. It really pulls you into the picture.”
With towering mountains in the background, the spring mural is located next to Pier 1.
“Holy Cross and Notch are the models for the mountains in the back,” Mason said. “In the foreground, there’s a kayaker in a stream coming down.”
The summer mural has a pair of hikers and a couple of bikers. Both murals are framed by aspen trees on the side, and there’s a red fox in each painting. Those themes will continue in the fall and winter scenes, Mason said. A flyfisherman in a stream will be the focal point of the fall mural, and either a pair of skiers or a skier and a snowboarder will dominate the winter scene.
“I wanted to put some wildlife in, and I wanted something that connected all of them,” Mason said. “I wanted to celebrate the area around us. And the fox and the idea of the activity is the interaction of people and nature and what you can do in the area in each season.”
“Mason has found great enjoyment from not only having an incredible opportunity to paint such awesome compositions, but also to fulfill a wonderful vision the Hoffmann’s are providing for the community to enjoy,” Marie Torry said.
You can see some of Mason Torry’s smaller-scale wildlife paintings on display at the Avon Public Library through the end of the month.
Mason hopes to finish the murals by September, before the temperature dips too much. The acrylic mural paint he works with can’t be used below 55 degrees or so, he said.
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at email@example.com, 970-748-2984 and on Twitter @caramieschnell.