Wall murals are coming and Detroit Lakes is in for a colorful summer

Stillwater artist Deneena Hughes will create a mural showing the four seasons — spring, summer, autumn and winter — on two walls of the Becker County Human Services building.

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Detroit Lakes High School students painted this wrap-around mural inside the pedestrian tunnel under Becker County Road 22. They are pictured here during the recent Day of Caring activities.
Contributed/Project 412

DETROIT LAKES — The box culvert under County Road 22 is awash in color, thanks to a new mural painted there by Detroit Lakes High School students.

The culvert serves as an underpass for the paved bike trail that runs next to the Pelican River from Little Detroit Lake to Dunton Locks County Park.

The students painted the mural during the recent Day of Caring activities. It’s designed to look like the tunnel is running through an aquarium, according to Amy Stearns, executive director of the local arts organization Project 412.

And more murals are planned, including one that will cover the south and east walls of the Becker County Human Services building.

“I have a neat thing to share with all of you,” Stearns told commissioners at the May 16 Becker County Board meeting. “We have a matching grant from Blandin to infuse Detroit Lakes and Becker County with color over the next summer.”


Stillwater artist Deneena Hughes has proposed a mural depicting the four seasons — spring, summer, autumn and winter — for the Human Services building, Stearns said. “It will be very bright and colorful,” she added.

Hughes is very well thought of, she’s familiar with the area, and she has been involved in local arts events like ice sculptures for Polar Fest, the poetry walk, and the sailboat sculpture public art project in Detroit Lakes, Stearns said.

The county board approved the mural designs, and approved installation and maintenance agreements.

The organizers – Project 412 and the Historic Holmes Theatre – agree to take on all costs associated with installation and maintenance of the murals over the five year length of the agreements.

“Then it will be up to the county to either maintain it or paint over it,” said Commissioner Barry Nelson.

Work on the Human Services building mural is expected to start next month.

“The department is excited about the mural,” said Becker County Human Services Director Denise Warren. “We’ve been looking forward to a facelift.”

Bowe covers the Becker County Board and the court system for the Tribune, and handles the opinion pages for the Tribune and Focus. As news editor of both papers, he is the go-to contact person for readers and the general public: breaking or hard news tips, story ideas, questions and general feedback should be directed to him.
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