A series of paintings by artist Zachary Pullen were unveiled in a ceremony this week at the new NERD YMCA complex in Casper.
Businessman and philanthropist Mick McMurry had discussed the idea of using Pullen to illustrate a children’s book based on James P. Owen’s list of cowboy ethics. After McMurry’s death in 2015 the idea took on a larger life, eventually becoming 10 original pieces of art representing McMurry’s life and his dedication to using “cowboy ethics” as a guide.
“I worked on them for a little over two years, final planning lasted about two months,” said Pullen. The design of the wall is also symbolic, with two lines along the wall starting smooth then roughing out before becoming smooth again. “It’s a subliminal design,” said Pullen.
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The characters in the paintings represent McMurry throughout his life, but are also varied enough so they aren’t just multiple portraits, said Pullen.
McMurry’s original idea will come full circle. While the paintings can now be enjoyed in a permanent display on a retaining wall at the NERD YMCA lot, they will eventually be used in an upcoming children’s book.