Welcoming ceremony for SLC’s new public artwork

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – All residents of the Salt Lake City and surrounding community are invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for SLC’s new public artwork on April 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the roundabout intersection of 900 South and 1100 East.

‘Out of the Blue’, created by artist Stephen Kesler, is a life-size sculpture of a humpback whale bursting with a mural painted on the surface of the room by artist Mike Murdock.

Cookies will be offered at the event by Tulie Bakery and coffee will be provided by Caffe Expresso. The first 100 entrants will receive a limited-edition reusable tote bag designed by artist Mike Murdock himself.

Speakers will be present at the ceremony, including Mayor Erin Mendenhall, District 5 member Darin Mano, East Liberty Park Community Organization President Jason Stevenson and Salt Lake Arts Council Executive Director Felicia Baca.

The sculpture is the product of a nearly two-year public art project. The piece, made of recycled foam and fiberglass molded around a steel frame, depicts the quirky and diverse nature and characteristics of the 9th and 9th Wards and their people.

Kesler, who has worked in the area for about two decades, producing art and music and now caring for his family, described the 9th and 9th as “unexpected and out of the blue. A community where people of all backgrounds, beliefs and ideas migrate and feel a sense of belonging. A community that exceeds expectations; which commands respect for nature, ideas and varied identities.

The event will be hosted by the Salt Lake City Arts Council, an organization whose mission is to promote, showcase and support local artists as well as accelerate the production of art in our community while spreading awareness, l access and engagement.