Rose Park mural honoring hometown heroes to be unveiled
Jun 21, 2023, 10:00 AM | Updated: 10:07 am
ROSE PARK, Utah — A new mural, honoring women who built up the community of Rose Park, will be unveiled Thursday at the Rose Park Community Gardens.
The local artist gave KSL TV a sneak peek and explained why this project is so special to him.
With each spray, Bill Louis puts the finishing touches on his latest mural. It features eight of rose park’s influential women.
“It’s kind of full circle,” Louis said.
Being chosen for this project hits close to home. Louis spent part of his childhood in Rose Park. As a Pacific Islander growing up in the ’70s, Louis recalls family reunions and rugby tournaments in the west side community. He still has family living there and visits often.
“I’m trying to help beautify the space, trying to help keep Rose Park beautiful.”
The artist captured hometown heroes of the past including Maria Cardenas, the original owner of Red Iguana.
Christina Caputo operated a corner grocery store in the early ’20s, which led to the Caputo’s Market and Deli we know today.
He also painted Nettie Grimes Gregory, an advocate for youth on the west side and died before a rec center named after her was built.
“I chose to put them in black and white to kind of give that historical feel,” Louis said. “Some of the colors represent like the Jordan River, some represent roses, some represent the city.”
Tiffany Greene is with Better Days, the non-profit group who organized the project. They partnered with the Utah Division of State History as part of their Women’s History Initiative. Greene says they received grant funding from Salt Lake Arts Council and the Utah Division of Arts and Museum for this project.
“Several months ago, we started a community process finding out who the neighborhoods wanted featured in this mural. Women from the past, women from the present who really represented the important role and the important work women do in our communities,” Greene said.
They received 100 nominations from the community and narrowed it down to 8 finalists.
“It really has been a labor of love,” Greene said.
Teens with Neighborworks Salt Lake prepped the Rose Park Community Garden where the mural will be installed; creating a space for their generation to connect with the past.
“It’s important to have community assets being that people can come by and learn more about what these women have done in our community to help shape it,” Jasmine Walton, with Neighborworks Salt Lake said.
The mural will be unveiled Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Four of the finalists will be surprised to learn they’re on the mural. It’ll be extra special for Louis. He painted someone he knows very well who has supported his journey.