ROCK SPRINGS — Downtown Rock Springs hired artist Amber Hunt, known as Amber Marie, a Green River resident, to do a mural with their “Kickin’ It” mural program. Her proposal was chosen along with several other artists back in Spring.
The original proposal was of a historical Rock Springs female figure and a contemporary Rock Springs female figure, to give homage to the strength of women that helped build the city. “I really wanted to feature women from these stories we have. I wanted to work with the Rock Springs Historical Museum and local business women to create this great piece”, comments Amber Marie.
The premise was simple enough, but ran into roadblocks when trying to find a lot of information about local women and then getting together with a business woman to get reference photos. “I ended up further and further behind, nothing seemed to come together”, says Amber Marie.
In her research on local business women, she came across an article about Amanda Schaeperkoetter, the owner of Dugout Collectables, on the Downtown Rock Springs website. Dugout Collectables is frequented by Amber Marie’s partner, Joseph Skimehorn, who helps her form the art duo “Yezea” (yeah-zay-uh). He suggested Amanda should be featured, since she was a big supporter of artists. “I decided that maybe it would be best to just feature one business owner, to really feature someone that is a fixture in the business community”, Amber Marie elaborated about the idea.
She researched the history of the business, from the beginnings of Mary Moore, who helped her son collect baseball cards and turned it into a business. A series of interviews followed with Amanda through Facebook Messenger, learning that she worked in the business for years before her family took it over when Mary got sick, eventually owning something that they came to love. “I love every part of the store my favorite part though is when the people come into play magic and stuff and just have fun and laugh and joke and have a good time, I also love meeting new people (like you all) cause it’s more friends I make!!” Amanda shared during one conversation about the store. Amanda and her family have changed the face of the store by featuring more of the popular card game, Magic: The Gathering.
The boot mural then became about the store and the love that Amanda had for it and the things within it. Over 20 different objects became involved with a portrait of Amanda. Pop culture icons from a variety of games, comics, and collectables available in the shop, often with a nod to Amanda’s family and events the store has had. The boot features logos from iconic brands such as Dungeon and Dragons and Pokemon to make a homage to high end brands in leather. Pikachu jumps near the “one ring” from The Lord of the Rings next to a Spider-Man comic next to a Funko pop figurine of Velma from Scooby Doo next to a 6-sided die, just to explain one small section of the project. The mural became so involved, Amber Marie called on her partner Joseph to help finish it. “Yezea came to the rescue as I was way behind in getting it done after so much research going into it. Joseph is an incredible artist and really helped the project move along”, Amber Marie says.
To see the installed boot, it will be on C street, between S Main and N Front, in Rock Springs. For other boot locations, follow Downton Rock Springs/URA on Facebook @RSDowntown.