Basque mural finds home with Masons
Artist Beverly Caputo strapped in and climbed onto a scissor lift to put the final touches on her mural celebrating Gardnerville’s Basque heritage on Wednesday morning.
The mural was hung on the side of the Mason’s Hall on Tuesday afternoon, making the second large piece of artwork to greet northbound travelers in Carson Valley’s second oldest town.
Main Street Gardnerville Director Paula Lochridge said the mural was more than four years in the making.
“It’s a representation of our heritage here in the district, and it beautifies downtown,” she said.
Like the Basque sheepherder portrayed in the mural, it wandered the countryside. At one time it was proposed for the side of the old Pyrenees Hotel, which once housed Aladdin Flowers
That disappeared when the building was demolished in spring 2015. The Mason’s Hall is actually the fourth spot considered.
Workers from Walter & Walter Construction installed the 12-feet by 16-feet work of art. The scissor lift was donated by Ahern Rentals.
Under an agreement with the property owner, Carson Valley Lodge No. 33, Free and Associated Masons, the mural will remain on the building for five years.
On Wednesday, solar lights were installed at the top of the building to illuminate the mural at night.
Other donors include Wells Fargo Bank, Mike and Ariane Walter, Mendiko Euskaldun Cluba, Mike and Tami Kobold, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Minden Fortnightly and the Town of Gardnerville.
The lodge itself has a long history in Gardnerville, having been constructed in 1921 by the Masons.
Last summer, Sharkey’s installed the murals on either side of its building welcoming visitors to the town. The murals are designed so people can stand with the mural over one shoulder and take a selfie.
While the Sharkey’s murals are visible to traffic going both ways on the highway, the Basque mural will only be visible to northbound travelers.
The murals were part of the renovation of Sharkey’s done by Carson Valley Inn owner Mike Pegram.