‘Loosey the Moose’ returns to Park City, and selfies could rack up quickly
“Loosey the Moose” again welcomes people to the Main Street core after being penned elsewhere for months.
And the snapshots and selfies could rack up quickly.
The sculpture of a moose, donated to City Hall in 2018 by the Davis family, recently was put on display after the municipal government freshened up the sculpture. It is located on the Swede Alley side of a walkway that links Main Street with Swede Alley and the Old Town transit center. A bronze sculpture of a bear is located on the Main Street side, providing artistic takes on two of the animals that inhabit the Park City area as people walk to and from the transit center.
Jenny Diersen, the economic development program manager for City Hall, said the municipal government hired an artist to repaint the sculpture with “more vibrancy.” The artwork also was seal coated and cracks on the base were resealed. The clothes on the sculpture were washed as well.
Park City over the years has attempted to ensure the route between the transit center and Main Street is highly visible, adding features like the bronze bear and lights built into the ground. Placing “Loosey the Moose” on the Swede Alley side of the route is seen as a way to draw people from the transit center side of Swede Alley toward Main Street.
“She’ll greet you as you come down from the transit center,” Diersen said.
“Loosey the Moose” had been located on private property outside a Main Street building close to the Main Street-Swede Alley walkway. The donation of the artwork to City Hall prompted officials to consider a location on public property.
City Hall staffers provided a recent update about the work to Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council, saying the work cost $2,500. The monies were earmarked from operations and maintenance funding, the update said. The update about the sculpture was delivered alongside information about a series of other public-art projects like murals planned in pedestrian-bicyclist tunnels.
“Loosey the Moose” was created as part of a fundraiser for arts organizations known as Moose on the Loose. Several of the sculptures remain on display, including outside the Public Works Building, but “Loosey the Moose” is considered to be the best known as it occupied a highly visible location along Main Street for years.
People were often seen posing for photographs with “Loosey the Moose” and the sculpture became a landmark that would serve as a place to meet after strolling Main Street. The sculpture in the former location also was the target of vandals. In one case, in late 2012, someone snapped off the antlers and the hat was forcibly removed. The parts were left in the nearby snow. The sculpture was placed behind a wire fence with a sign requesting people not climb atop the piece.
A group that represents businesses on or just off Main Street is pleased with the return of the sculpture. Michael Barille, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, said “Loosey the Moose” offers a “fun photo opportunity” and the images could provide Main Street exposure on social media.
“It’s just a fun piece of flavor,” Barille said.
The donation of the sculpture expanded City Hall’s inventory of artworks, ranging from paintings of historic buildings on display at the Marsac Building to large sculptures like “Making Tracks,” a piece along S.R. 224 that commemorates Park City’s role during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Other City Hall-owned pieces in the Main Street core include a sculpture of a silver miner, a large mural at the transit center and muse sculptures at the transit center.
Two of the most well-known artworks in the Main Street core, however, are not part of the City Hall collection. The famous graffiti artist Banksy in 2010 created works in Park City as he arrived for the Sundance Film Festival screening of a documentary that featured the elusive artist. Banksy works depicting a crouching videographer focused on a flower and a boy with angel wings and a halo remain on display in the Main Street core.
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