Arts & Entertainment

Heber City working with local artists to bring murals to Main Street

HEBER CITY, Utah – According to the Utah Department of Transportation, Heber City’s main street, which is a part of U.S Highway 40, services roughly 32,000 vehicle trips per day. Knowing the sheer quantity of traffic coming through town daily, community members, local businesses, and residents of the Heber Valley have been working to improve and enhance Heber City’s main street, hoping to transform the downtown district into a must-stop cultural and retail destination.

The Main Street beautification initiative actually began in 2003, when various business owners on Main street formed the Community Alliance for Main Street (CAMS), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing Heber City’s most visible traffic corridor.

The original CAMS group was successful in achieving initial investments in street posts, benches, and design standards for Main Street businesses, but when city and state funding for CAMS stopped during the 2008 recession, the organization went into hibernation for a decade.

Fast forward 10 years later, to 2018, and  newly-elected Mayor Kelleen Potter partnered with the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce to launch a new initiative to clean up Heber’s Main Street. Mayor Potter and the Heber Valley Chamber staff organized a beautification committee tasked with identifying ways to improve the city’s appearance.

The beautifying committee immediately gained traction, which in turn helped revive the defunct CAMS organization. Leaders from CAMS and the beautification committee understood that collaborating would produce even better outcomes for the entire community, and the two organizations came together to form the Community Alliance for Main Street 2.0.

CAMS 2.0 stands to build off of their predecessors’ work improving Main Street, and with the foundations of a downtown district already present, the new CAMS can focus on incorporating more aesthetically pleasing visuals, and are cooperating with the Chamber of Commerce to incorporate murals throughout town.

Part of this initiative includes the new postcard inspired mural on the south facing wall of Napa auto parts, right across the street from Heber’s town hall.

John Moore, the artist of the mural, lives in the Heber Valley and was hand selected by the City to incorporate themes of welcoming visitors, outdoor sports and activities, and local scenery to a previously barren wall.

“I wanted it to be a nostalgic feel.” Moore explained of the mural. “I got my inspiration from the old vintage postcards, the big block letters that say the city’s greetings, but what we really wanted to do was to magnify all the amazing things that happen in Heber, and the versatility of attractions, cultures, and events here.”

Moore worked closely with the city when designing the final project; “We went through several rounds of revisions with the city to make sure that nothing was forgotten. I got some feedback to add more wildlife and mountains, and included those in the final project. We tried to include every popular outdoors activity here in the Heber Valley, as well as popular landmarks such as the reservoir and Tabernacle building.”

In addition to painting murals, Moore also owns and operates his own creative design company, No. 9 Design, which he founded in April of this year.

“I mainly do murals and brand identities,” Moore said of No. 9 Design, “It is mainly focused on helping companies through the early marketing and branding processes. It was fun to blend that aspect of branding into a mural project, because Heber was looking to market itself in this space, which fit right up my alley.”

This is the second completed mural project in the city’s Public Art Initiative, with the previous being a mural on the city’s Chamber of Commerce building. The City had set a goal in 2020, hoping to add three to five murals to the downtown district by 2025. This is the second completed mural, so hopefully the next is already in the works.

John Moore at the mural’s unveiling. Photo: Shanna Woodruff Hicken

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