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New Casper Mural Project to celebrate ‘Women of Wyoming’ with Shoshone model

Muralist Tony Elmore works on the Better Together mural on the Atrium Plaza on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in downtown Casper. The mural is part of the Casper Mural Project, which has new murals in the works. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — A Shoshone woman will be the inspiration for a new mural by the Casper Mural Project and University of Wyoming at Casper.

According to a release, artist Koda Witsken partnered with the Eastern Shoshone Cultural Center and the Casper Mural Project to create the new artwork, which will be unveiled on Center Street on Aug. 30.

Casper resident and Shoshone tribe member Jackie Washakie served as the inspiration for the mural, said the release.

“This project is beyond powerful,” said Witsken in the release, “because we are infusing meaning and intent in every step of the planning and installation processes. The intention of the 2022 mural was to highlight the women of Wyoming, and we are doing just that. We have women photographers, models, administrators, and painters at the helm of the project. I am honored to work with the Cultural Center and CMP to tell a story of modern Wyoming women!”

The full release follows:

Casper, WY: The Casper Mural Project (CMP) and artist Koda Witsken (huemuralsbykoda.com) are collaborating with the Eastern Shoshone Cultural Center to install a mural on Center Street in August 2022 celebrating the “Women of Wyoming.”  

The CMP’s mission is to foster and encourage community expression through murals that inspire deeper compassion, widen cultural understanding and empathy, and focus on stories of inspiration, social justice, and peace. The CMP selected Witsken to lead their 2022 mural project from a national callout.

Witsken was selected because of her vibrant color palette and her vision to celebrate the inspiring, original “Women of Wyoming” by depicting a modern Shoshone woman in her mural design.  

Witsken worked with Robyn Rofkar and the Eastern Shoshone Cultural Center to select a Shoshone model, Jackie Washakie, to serve as a reference for the mural design. Washakie is a mother, active Shoshone tribe member, and local Casper resident. Along with the CMP, Witsken coordinated a photoshoot of Washakie with local photographer, Andrea Luton.  

“This project is beyond powerful,” says organizer Koda Witsken, “because we are infusing meaning and intent in every step of the planning and installation processes. The intention of the 2022 mural was to highlight the women of Wyoming, and we are doing just that. We have women photographers, models, administrators, and painters at the helm of the project. I am honored to work with the Cultural Center and CMP to tell a story of modern Wyoming women!” 

Witsken will be installing the work in August 2022. More information on the project will be upcoming at https://caspermuralproject.org and social media soon.

The Women of Wyoming is sponsored by the University of Wyoming Casper along with grant funds from The Kemmi Creek Donor Advised Endowment Fund and The Tony Cate Fund at The Wyoming Community Foundation, John & Lauren Griffith, Ryan McIntyre, Curb Appeal Painting, Kalen Marketing Agency, World Wash, Yoga on the Labyrinth, KCWY News 13, Townsquare Media, The Table, Ramkota Hotel, Beyond Borders Adventure Retreats, Sweetgrass Acupuncture, and Adventure Dome Wyo. If you would like to donate towards the project or future murals in Casper, there will be opportunities at the morning mural unveiling on Tuesday 8/30 or https://caspermuralproject.org.

About Hue Murals: Established in 2018, Hue Murals is a mural business centered on the work of local artist Koda Witsken. Her colorful style and optimistic themes adorn many businesses and buildings in the central Indiana area. Hue Murals strives to create art that helps businesses, spaces, and people rise “a shade above” — a little brighter, and a lot more united.


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