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Community News from the Heart of Summit County

Brilliant New Mural Shines at SPAC Outdoor Stage

Published November 1, 2019
Fox mural in Silverthorne
Fox mural in Silverthorne

At first glance you see geometric purple mountains, their facets gleaming with snowfields and sunset light, the blue of Dillon Reservoir below. But wait! After a closer inspection, the lake has eyes; the mountains just might be ears; and a camouflaged fox peers back at you. 

The brand new mural on the South-facing wall of the outdoor stage at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center (SPAC) creates an optical illusion that encourages people to interact with it and offers an Instagram-worthy photo opportunity. 

The outdoor stage at SPAC is a prime community gathering space and thanks to the art duo It’s Mathematical, it features a brand-new mural to draw passersby in.

“This mural enhances our downtown with interesting images that spur conversations and create a reason for people to gather in places they may not otherwise gather,” says Joanne Cook, the Town’s director of recreation and culture. “Town of Silverthorne Art Selection Committee (ASC) initiated this installation to support its goal of keeping the area around the SPAC fresh with ever-changing public art displays.”

Changing of the guard

At the SPAC grand opening in 2017, the Town of Silverthorne identified the south-facing wall of the outdoor stage as a perfect canvas for public art. Shortly after the opening, the committee worked with Denver artist Mike Graves to create the first-ever mural on that site. 

That first piece was always intended to be temporary, and after two years, the committee sought a replacement through a national call for entries. This fall, ASC chose a project by the team of Max Komarov and Matt Mederer, who work under the name It’s Mathematical. Max and Matt arrived in Silverthorne in early October and spent 45 hours painting their vibrant, colorful new mural over the existing mural. 

“Changing the exhibits regularly provides a reason to keep checking in and wondering what’s happening next with the arts in Silverthorne,” Joanne explains. “For this installation, the ASC members sought a mural that had an element of optical illusion to encourage people to interact with the mural and gather near it.”

The new mural does just that, with a hidden fox image in a mountain and lake scene.

“I wanted to create something that will not take away from the beauty of the location where I’m painting,” explains Max, who hopes to come back to Silverthorne in the winter for some snowboarding.

“Silverthorne is a beautiful place, and very different from anywhere I have ever lived,” Matt says. “It was exciting to work out the design with those mountain views as my backdrop.”

About the artist

Artists Max Komarov and Matt Mederer
Artists Max Komarov and Matt Mederer

Max Komarov and Matt Mederer are Chicago-based artists who work individually and collaboratively. They first teamed up about seven years ago, when Max’s wife introduced them. Their style mixes realism and optical illusions or geometrical patterns. 

Ukraine-born Max moved with his family in 2011 to Chicago, where he lives with his wife and two dogs and works as a tattoo artist. He started painting as a graffiti artist, but five years ago, after painting at the Santurce Es Ley festival in Puerto Rico, he decided to make street art his focus. Since then, he has made murals in Poland and Ukraine, Chicago, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Marietta, Georgia. 

Matt, originally from Iselin, New Jersey, works in databases by day and has a degree in mathematics. He enjoys wine and viticulture and bartends one day a week at a wine bar in Chicago.

“I hope the community likes the mural and decides to keep it for a longer period of time,” Max adds. “Silverthorne has amazing views and a relaxing atmosphere. This is the most beautiful location I have ever painted. I want my fox to become part of this town!” 

Find out more about the Town of Silverthorne’s public art program, including all the current exhibitions.

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