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FREDERICK — A new 500-square-foot ceramic tile mural now graces the newest phase of Frederick Recreation Area.
Created by Longmont artist Mario Miguel Echevarria, it depicts one of Milavec Lake’s best-loved activities, fishing.
It is the second work commissioned and installed by the Frederick Arts Commission this year and is Echevarria’s first in the Carbon Valley area.
The project began as a form of support for a grant request to complete the Frederick Recreation Area Phase 2 improvements.
Originally housing the town’s water treatment facility, the pump house was renovated several years ago to function as the Town’s raw water irrigation system, a practice that helps the town conserve water.
However, the exterior of the building had become an eyesore and improving its appearance was a way to enhance the ongoing Phase 2 improvements.
The Frederick Arts Commission chose the mural format as the best and most effective way to address the pump house and chose Echevarria for the project.
He used the south-facing wall as a blank canvas and presented three different themes before the Arts Commission selected the lake and fishing theme as the best representation of Frederick. Echevarria worked over the summer months to create over 500 separate sculpted and glazed tiles out of clay, firing them in kilns at over 3000 degrees.
Echevarria spent many painstaking hours in both heat in late summer and cold in early fall installing and grouting the tiles. Some of the Arts Commissioners helped complete the project by painting the sky.
“My favorite part of this project was speaking with the visitors to Frederick Recreation Area and watching the beautiful sunsets over the lake,” said Echevarria, who also added hidden surprises in the mural by directly sculpting them into the clay.
While designing the mural, he also incorporated the visual angles of the lake into the artwork so it acts as a continuation of the existing landforms.
“The Arts Commission is proud of this project and the effect it will have on the second phase of the Frederick Recreation Area development,” said Frederick Arts Commission Chairperson and Trustee Laura Brown. “This is truly what public art is about — improving spaces for the community’s enjoyment.”