LOCAL NEWS

Puzzle maker visits Springville seniors who completed his 60,000-piece puzzle

Feb 5, 2024, 8:14 AM

A group of seniors at the Springville Senior Center got to meet with puzzle maker and artist Eric D...

A group of seniors at the Springville Senior Center got to meet with puzzle maker and artist Eric Dowdle after they recently completed a 60,000-piece puzzle he designed. (Springville Senior Center)

(Springville Senior Center)

SPRINGVILLE — A group of Springville seniors got to meet puzzle-maker and artist Eric Dowdle after completing a 60,000-piece puzzle he designed.

Jigsaw puzzles are always out at the Springville Senior Center, for seniors to work on periodically throughout the day. Center Director Tori Eaton is great at finding fun projects for the center and after seeing Dowdle’s 60,000-piece puzzle, she knew she had to get it, said Daryl Tucker, board of trustees member for the center.

The “What a Wonderful World” puzzle is the world’s largest commercially available puzzle at 29 feet long and 8 feet tall and features the art of 187 different paintings from the Dowdle art studio. The puzzle comes in a huge box with 60 bags of 1,000 pieces each.

Each bag of pieces, when put together, completes one section of the puzzle. Once all 60 sections were put together at the Springville Senior Center, the city brought in a dozen tables for the seniors to connect them into one massive puzzle.

“It was a big project,” Tucker said. “It was great. I actually miss working on it. It was quite challenging.”

The puzzle depicts a map of the world with monuments, landmarks and other illustrations filling in the oceans in Dowdle’s recognizable folk art style. Tucker said it was fun putting together all of the fine details and identifiable places — he remembers working on the Lincoln Memorial and other D.C. buildings.

“These beautiful and vibrant paintings showcase the wonders of our magnificent world. Explore the islands of the Pacific, twinkling lights of Paris, beauty of the Taj Mahal and the majesty of America’s national parks on your puzzling journey,” the Dowdle Folk Art website says.

More than 30 people contributed to the puzzle that was started in October and finished in January. Tucker said each section of the puzzle took a couple days to finish and sometimes multiple sections were worked on at the same time.

“Spent a lot of hours doing it and it was a pleasure,” Tucker said.

Eaton contacted Dowdle’s company hoping he could pay the seniors a visit once they completed the puzzle. At first, there was no response from Dowdle because of a mixup in trying to contact him, but once Dowdle heard about the seniors finishing the puzzle he made arrangements to visit on Jan. 18.

A group of seniors at the Springville Senior Center pose with a 60,000-piece puzzle designed by Eric Dowdle that took three months and more than 30 people to complete. (Photo: Springville Senior Center)

Tucker said Dowdle spent a lot of time with the seniors during his visit, ate lunch with them and gave them “high marks” on finishing the puzzle. He explained how challenging it was to create such a massive puzzle and said the seniors’ puzzle process was just how he envisioned it would be completed.

Dowdle has a studio in Lindon where anyone can come and work on the same 60,000-piece puzzle. He invited the Springville seniors to come help, since they have prior experience.

Eaton’s acquaintance at the Heber City senior center asked to borrow the puzzle for their seniors to complete. The puzzle was taken apart, bagged up into sections and taken to Heber City where even more people will get to face the challenge of the giant puzzle.

Tucker said activities and projects like this one are “indispensable” to the community, especially for people who have retired.

“The senior center always provides something for them to be engaged in or active in,” he said. “It’s a great organization and I would say, my biased opinion, is we’re the best senior center anywhere.”

The Springville Senior Center offers a variety of activities from book clubs to quilting, pottery, stained glass and music classes, tai chi groups, painting nights and more. The center also offers field trips around the state to exhibits downtown, sports events, concerts, plays, nature outings and more.

Dowdle has become famous for his intricate folk art-turned puzzles that he creates of cities, towns and places across the world, including several in Utah, where he showcases the uniqueness of the area.

“These puzzles are a way to show that there’s no missing pieces, everybody matters, and we really celebrate the individual,” Dowdle said in 2023. He aims to connect people and communities with his puzzles.

One of Costco’s best selling items, Dowdle’s puzzle sales exploded during the pandemic.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(File)...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Santaquin man charged with attempted murder in assault with pickup truck

A Santaquin man was charged Tuesday with intentionally hitting another man with his pickup truck and smashing his leg against a second vehicle.

1 hour ago

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said remaining permits for elk and deer hunts this fall wil...

Mark Jones

Remaining elk and deer hunting permits to be sold starting in July

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says remaining permits for elk and deer hunts this fall will be made available for purchase next month.

1 hour ago

John Robert the former Bluffdale fire chief....

Daniel Woodruff

Former Bluffdale fire chief pleads guilty to misusing public money

A former Bluffdale fire chief and mayoral candidate has pleaded guilty to misusing public money.

2 hours ago

Follow @elizapacenewsLike us on Facebook...

Eliza Pace

‘Hazmat incident’ in Millcreek causes road closures and business evacuations

Officials are responding to a hazmat incident in the area of 3900 South and 250 West.

2 hours ago

The huge number of visitors have managers planning changes at Zion National Park...

Eliza Pace

National Parks free to the public on Juneteenth

All National Park sites will offer free admission on June 19 for Juneteenth National Independence Day.

3 hours ago

97 exhibits of evidence were sealed after the Chad Daybell murer trial, but his booking photo was r...

Mary Culbertson

Judge in Chad Daybell case permanently seals 97 evidence exhibits after trial

The judge in Chad Daybell's murder trial ordered that 97 exhibits of evidence be permanently sealed.

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Puzzle maker visits Springville seniors who completed his 60,000-piece puzzle