Tahoe East Shore mural unveiling, ribbon-cutting set for Friday

Sierra Sun staff

A community mural art project that has been underway in the tunnel on the Tahoe East Shore Trail will be unveiled to the public following a socially-distanced ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. today.

The mural, painted by local husband and wife art and design duo, Tyler Rivenbark and Frida Ticehurst-Rivenbark, was completed with help from students at Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village.

“Designed to capture the idea of Lake Tahoe being a bright mirror of the light around it, especially with a full moon, the mural features both day and night scenes,” a news release states. “The night scene includes snow lines on the mountains, giving the mountains depth and light. The daytime scene on the opposite wall depicts the reflection of the mountains in Lake Tahoe’s crystal clear waters.”

The ceiling uses a multitude of colors to blend the designs of the day and night scenes.

“The ceiling helps expose how all colors of the rainbow appear in Lake Tahoe’s landscape as day turns to night, and the sun and the moon refract with the water, the snow and the clouds,” said artist Frida Ticehurst-Rivenbark. “For us, this mural is one of the most exciting visual experiences — leading people into and through the tunnel and from day to night — brightening the space with the colors of natural phenomena.”

The Rivenbarks have worked in shifts on the mural since Aug. 4, with the only full trail closure required that day. In addition, working in one-hour shifts over the course of the day on Aug. 17, students from Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village contributed their own perspectives to the mural. The students were asked to write in their own words, and within certain lines of the mural, what makes Lake Tahoe special to them.

Some of the ideas the students shared include: “beautiful all year around,” “a symphony of water,” and “the moments with family and friends.”

Artists were encouraged to focus the theme of their submissions on community and the surrounding environment. Requirements of the project asked artists to depict local life, involve local youth in the creation of the mural, and ensure its completion would be accomplished with minimal closure of the tunnel and trail.

The Rivenbarks’ mural concept was one of 34 artist submissions. They were selected by a panel of judges composed of representatives from the Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Public Art, Nevada State Parks, Nevada Department of Transportation, Raley’s, and Kelly Brothers Painting. Raley’s provided a stipend for the artists and Kelly Brothers Painting provided all of the paint for the mural, the news release states.

“Nature has provided us with an incredible setting for outdoor recreation and one of the most beautiful places in the world with Lake Tahoe and the East Shore Trail. This artistic addition will truly complement the already breathtaking scenery,” said Robert Mergell, administrator for Nevada State Parks. “Our hope is that this is something that residents will take great pride in, and which visitors from all over the world will be able to enjoy for generations to come.”

The Tahoe East Shore Trail, connecting Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park, became an attraction for both residents and visitors interested in exploring Tahoe’s famed East Shore on foot or by bicycle since it opened in June 2019.

The Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Public Art and Nevada State Parks joined together to commission the mural to augment the natural beauty of the immediate surroundings and transform a utilitarian tunnel into an enjoyable, relevant art experience.

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