EDC takes on mural repair effort

Hunter Herbaugh
Sunday, May 2, 2021
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The T-Rex mural standing in the EPEC parking lot is due for a facelift, and it’s possible it could be getting one relatively soon. As the long-time landmark has fallen into disrepair after years of being exposed to the elements, the Dawson County Economic Development Council and the Greater Glendive Community Foundation are working together to revitalize the aged dinosaur.

The whole process won’t be cheap, however. GGCF and DCEDC member Miller said he got a bid from a local contractor that came in a little under $18,000.

DCEDC Executive Director Jason Stuart noted that helping restore a public art installation is not something the DCEDC usually does, however the dinosaur’s status as a long-time local landmark spurred them into helping. It’s also not entirely out of their sphere of influence either, as Stuart pointed out that it is similar to other community landmarks that can serve as an attraction to the local community.

“It is a cultural landmark, we’d like to see it repaired,” he said. “I think there’s an argument to be made that when you have a cultural landmark like that, especially in today’s ‘Instagramable’ world, something like that is something that people visiting the community are like ‘oh, look at that thing’ and they snap a picture of it.... And if you get that crowd, well then that thing is right downtown, it’s right across the street from a bunch of main street businesses, then you present the potential to draw more people downtown which in turn could help your downtown local businesses.”

Stuart laid out the plan for fixing the mural at Thursday’s meeting of the DCEDC. There, he said they are hoping to take the existing structure down and replace the current panels with completely new ones that will be painted by local artist Charity Schreibeis. This will include updating the image using the most up-to-date knowledge of what a T-Rex would actually look like. Stuart said they will be working with the Museum of the Rockies to ensure they are depicting the most accurate version of a T-Rex that they can.

The T-Rex has been standing watch on Merrill Avenue since 1992. It was original commissioned and is currently owned by local business owner Greg Hagenston as a promotion of Glendive’s dinosaur heritage. According to Stuart, the effort to fix the mural started around the start of the year, when Hagenston approached the council looking for help with the project.

“The scientific knowledge has advanced since (1992), so while the design will be the same, the color might look different because we’ll get paleontologists at the Museum of the Rockies and ask that they give us their latest ideas on what a T-Rex might actually look like,” Stuart said.

Bruce Miller noted that they will also plan on adding lights to the structure as well.

To help cover the costs, Stuart said he will be initiating a fundraising campaign starting on Give Local Day on May 6. During that time, he will be located at The Gallery and will be accepting donations. He has also set up a GoFundMe page for the project, hoping to attract online donations as well. The page can be found at www.gofundme.com/epec-trex-repair-project.

Reach Hunter Herbaugh at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.