By Shawn O’Brate, Staff Writer

RIVERTON – Last August a contest was held in Riverton that showed some of the serious artistic talent that lives in Riverton and the rest of Fremont County with the Riverton Banner Art Project. 

With nearly 25 artists all putting their work up against others in the county, the town was given two chances to vote for their favorites, two of which would be turned into large canvases to be held on buildings across Riverton.

This past week one of those large canvases was hung on the side of the Riverton Branch Library with one of the winner’s, Rusty Wuertz, artwork featuring a red fox and pink mountain ranges.

Wuertz said the inspiration behind her painting came from her step-daughter, Kiera, 7, who recommended something with pink mountains in it. The red fox, a strong-willed animal that has plenty of myths and legends behind it in the Native American community, is at the forefront of the painting next to the state flower of Wyoming, the Indian Paintbrush. 

“It’s a huge honor because I haven’t breached the ‘professional artist’ at this point so it was kind of cool to see the community go and vote for something like this and…it was really cool to be picked out of all the fantastic artists and their work,” the radio DJ said after her artwork was hung on the library.

Wuertz, who hosts the Renegade Wake-Up show on KTAK 93.9 in the morning, has plenty of aspirations with her artwork but for now she’s just happy that the community she knows, loves, and speaks to on the radio can see her work in public now.

“If you had asked me two years ago if I could have done something like that my answer would have probably been no,” Wuertz said, “but if I could tell someone anything it would be just to try it. Try anything that you can, be involved with everything you can.”

The inspiration behind her painting, her step-daughter, is just another aspect of why she wanted to try to get her artwork in the contest last year. But, now that it’s hung up she hopes that she can now be the inspiration for others.

“I wanted something bright that reminded you of our local area and I hope that kids, or anyone honestly, can look up to that and think they can do whatever they want,” Wuertz concluded. 

The other painting selected by the Riverton Banner Art Project last year, Skot Lain, will be hung up soon so be on the lookout for another new painting gracing the Riverton community. 

Congratulations to both winners! The town of Riverton is happy to have such colorful depictions of local wildlife around the community!