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Angie's: Where the locals paint

Mural art contest invites community to make history

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 01:01

Angie's Mural

Samantha Behl photo

USU STUDENTS CRISTA VANCE AND HER HUSBAND, MATT VANCE, speak with Sabor Sahely, the owner and founder of local restaurant, Angie’s. The Vances came up with the idea to hold a contest among local artists to paint a bare wall outside the eatery.


Just before Main Street on 700 North sits a long, barren wall. It is beige, windowless and lacks any distinctive features. The wall belongs to Angieís Restaurant and will soon be the home to a unique collaborative mural by 12 local artists, young and old.

The Angieís mural art contest is the brainchild of Matt Vance, senior in business administration. A self-proclaimed geek, Vance makes a hobby of analyzing the flaws and strengths of commercial advertisements. He said he once emailed Low Book Sales to inform them that their ads are obnoxious.

ìHe analyzes every billboard,î said Crista Vance, Mattís wife and junior in family consumer and human development. 

It was this sort of observation through the eyes of a business major that the concept for the mural came to life. Last July she and Matt were driving south on Main Street and stopped at the red light at 700 North, facing the empty wall on the north side of Angieís, Crista said. 

ìInstead of analyzing it like a billboard, he analyzed it as a potential billboard basically and was like, ëWhy is there nothing there? I mean, itís just a blank wall. It doesnít even have windows or anything. Thereís no purpose for it,íî she said.

The vision of a painted mural in the ìpurposelessî space began to form in their minds.

ìThatís when we started expanding the ideas and started the research,î Crista said.

Though Matt often dissected the efficiency of ads and billboards, he said his original idea for the wall was a mural, an artistic statement.

Matt said Crista did all the research, looking into details like city regulations and the price of paint. After about a month of research, Matt approached Saboor Sahely, founder and owner of Angieís Restaurant, with the mural contest idea.

ìI thought it was kind of a crazy idea, I mean, kind of unorthodox,î Sahely said of his first reaction to Mattís idea. ìThe more we talked about it I thought, ëYou know, it would create some excitement.íî

It turns out, the idea to paint a mural on the wall was not unique.

ìWe thought about a mural on the wall a while back, but not in the context of having a contest,î Sahely said. ìWe thought weíd get an artist to put a mural on that and kind of depict the history of the valley.î 

Sahely said he is excited for the final product, which will be painted in April. 

ìIf we get a great product on that wall out there, it will create more interest,î he said. ìItís good for the local artists too, to get their work showcased there.î

On Oct. 10, 2013, Matt took his plans to the Logan Planning Commission in a public hearing for approval to have the mural painted. The project was approved unanimously by the commission on the condition that the final design be approved by the community development director.

The Angieís mural art contest is based around the theme of ìpeople, places and times of Cache Valleyî and opened to art submissions in November. The contest is divided into four age groups: 12-14, 15-17, 18-30, and 31 years and above. Submissions will be on display in Angieís for public viewing and voting throughout February.

Three finalists from each age group will be selected by public vote and a jury, including Sahely and a representative from the city council, according to Matt. The 12 selected artists will collaborate and paint their representations of Cache Valley on a landscape backdrop contributed by Mattís brother, Spencer Vance, a junior in art education.

ìAfter weíve determined the 12 winners of the contest, before they actually start painting the wall, Iím going to go and paint in the background which will consist of basically a horizon line, a mountain range, the sky and a river,î Spencer said. ìThen the 12 winners will be painting objects in the foreground that have to do with Cache Valley that people can relate to.î

Contest winners will receive cash prizes from $50-100 as well as a permanent claim to local fame.

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