3 local artists selected for new Platte River trail sculptures - Casper, WY Oil City News
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3 local artists selected for new Platte River trail sculptures

Artist Betsy Bower is among those selected for the new sculptures. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper area will be getting some new public art along the North Platte River.

“The Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board Art Committee, Art 321, and Community Members have selected three pieces of sculptured art work to be placed along the trail,” ARAJPB Executive Director Renee Hahn said on Friday, Sept. 20. “Three local artist have been selected and are very deserving of this award.” 

Those artists include:

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  • Betsy Bower
  • Darry Hume
  • Travis Blankenbaker  

“We will have a celebration and unveiling of the art in late May 2020,” Hahn adds.

The artists need to submit their finalized products by May 1.

The sculptures will be placed atop three lighted pedestals on the south side of the river. Those pedestals are at the following locations along the pathway of the old Amoco Refinery:

  • First pedestal: west of the Wyoming Otolaryngology Building on the south side of the path along the river.
  • Second pedestal: west along the trail on the north side of the path
  • Third pedestal: west near the Railroad Bridge on the south side of the trail.

The sculptures are meant to exemplify the history of the old Amoco refinery and the role it played in Casper.

A brief history of the refinery was included in the call for artist submissions:

In 1913, Standard Oil of Indiana purchased an 84-acre tract of land on the west side of Casper. The company brought in work crews to build cracking stills and begin operations. The refinery was in full production by 1914; and by 1922, it was the largest plant in the world for volume of gasoline produced. Records indicate that it processed 1,350,000 barrels of crude and produced 615,000 gallons of gasoline per month.

[In] 1938 the refinery underwent a boost in productivity when the facility was modernized, and crews were brought from nearby refineries to begin 24-hour operations.

The refinery began production of commercial aviation fuel in 1953, along with new, high-octane automotive gasoline. The area went from one of the largest producers of gasoline in the world to a beautiful recreational and business area today. The Platte River Commons is the home of Three Crowns Golf Club, Wyoming Oil and Gas and several other businesses.

ARAJPB

Bower, Hume and Blankenbaker will receive $5,000 each.