Local artist commissioned for mural

 

Amanda Tafolla-Sutton / Sun-Telegraph

Ben Darling was commissioned to create the nine by seven foot landscape mural for the Wildcat Hills Nature Center in August.

Local artist Ben Darling was recently commissioned to paint a mural for the Wildcat Hills Nature Center's addition outside of Scottsbluff.

Darling is a professional artist that has had a passion for art all his life. For Darling, art is not just a past time, he also teaches art classes for grades 6-12 at Sidney Public Schools.

Darling said he was originally commissioned to paint a three by five foot mural, however after seeing the space Darling suggested a larger piece.

The nine by seven foot painting is an oil landscape that pays tribute to the areas flora and fauna with expansive rolling hills, native trees and plants set in the forefront of the oranges and pinks of a Nebraska sky.

"It's a picture of a place just off the trail, I like people to draw their own conclusions wether it is a sunset or a sunrise," Darling said.

The canvas was hand stretched, and Darling said he used a ladder for the tallest parts of the painting and a kneeling pad to get the details on the lower half.

Darling drew inspiration for the piece from a picture he took while walking through the Wildcat Hills. The first concept he presented to the nature center was a water color rendering of the photo.

The mural was commissioned by the nature center through the state's One Percent for Art program, based on the law enacted in 1978.

One Percent for Art dedicates one percent of funds on new construction in excess of $500,000 and remodeling or renovation of a public building in excess of $250,000 to commissioned art from Nebraska artists.

Darling said he has been commissioned to create art pieces through the One Percent program in the past, and was contacted by the nature center to bid the painting.


 

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