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You’ve probably noticed the brightly painted, Arizona-themed elk down on Main Street, just past McLane. Did you slow down? Stop and take a look? What’s wrong with you? Go back there and have your picture taken next to the new and outstanding symbol of Payson.
The art piece stands in front of Down the Street Art Gallery. Those people have their heads tilted, don’t they? Well, as most people say, “They’re artists, what do you expect?”
Creative license, of course. Who wants an elk statue in front of an art gallery?
The cooperative artists who all have a stake in the gallery got together and asked Sue Malinski, owner of Western Village on the southwest end of town, if she had a fine-looking elk they could purchase. Turns out, she had one elk with a flaw she could part with.
So Tim Hummer, silversmith and co-op artist, delivered the elk and set it up on the cement slab near the Down the Street Gallery sign.
The artists gathered on the porch, gazing at this fine, aluminum edifice of a bellowing elk as wheels began to turn in artistic minds.
Fifteen of the 25 member-artists set to painting Arizona themes from tail to antler tip.
I could try to describe the result — but it’s one of those “You’ve got to see it for yourself” things.
Today is First Friday on Main Street and Down the Street Art Gallery is throwing a Paint Party celebration from 5-8 p.m. Bring your camera and hang around awhile. Grab a slip of paper and propose a name for this latest Main Street landmark. The drawing will be sometime in October.
You can also be sure that the elk’s décor will change with the seasons — and the moods of the artists.
I now know you know about the finely painted edifice created by an active artist community to enliven this town.
So what are you waiting for? See for yourself. Today would be good.