GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Students in Lora Quesenberry’s art class at New Emerson Elementary have came up with suggestions for a new downtown mural that was presented to a panel of local artists, United Way staff, and volunteers in March. Both their ideas and the goal of the organization would be represented through the mural. Local artist Emily Adamson will use these concepts to create a brand-new mural that will be painted in the breezeway off the 500 block of Main Street.

A tile mosaic with the United Way emblem and the handprints of contributors and city officials who had supported the organization was built in 1992 by artists Pat Olson and Robin Nelson. Sadly, the tile art piece’s logo component was destroyed due to deterioration after thirty years of community delight, and the remainder is barely hanging on. United Way of Mesa County is appealing to the next generation of the community for assistance while collaborating with Downtown Grand Junction and the building’s owner.

“The ideas presented by the students were stunning and touching,” says United Way of Mesa County Executive Director Zebulon Miracle.  “The thought, creativity, and passion that each student put into their artwork was amazing.  We look forward to seeing the mural that Emily Adamson will create using the students’ ideas and participation.  We feel that this will be a wonderful way to engage the community in thinking about philanthropy and community.”

Beginning in October, development on the new mural will begin. September 26 and 27 are set aside for the removal of the original tile handprints. To contact the contributors who took part in the first work, every attempt is being made. It is unclear how many of the handprint tiles can be rescued due to their age, condition, and fragility.

“While we look forward to sharing a vision from the next generation, we want to proceed with respect.  There are so many pillars of our community who have handprints on display that have given so much not just to United Way but to Mesa County as a whole.” says Miracle.  “We are trying to reach out to everyone who has a handprint on the mural to let them know how long the piece will remain up and that we will do all we can to save and return as many tiles as possible or use them in a new piece.”

Information about the earlier work will also be included in the new art exhibit. Additionally, a website is being developed that will describe the new mural project and include pictures and details about the existing painting.