By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

New Mural Brightens Up Downtown


September 18, 2019

Michelle Bigelbach / The Courier

Madelyn House (l) and Andy Fahlgren (r) pose in front of the new mural on the outside of the addition of the Busted Knuckle Brewery, on the corner of 4th St. S. and 1st Ave. S.

While driving downtown throughout the past few months, drivers and pedestrians have seen a new piece of artwork go up at the corner of 4th St. S. and 1st Ave S., on the outer side of the addition to Busted Knuckle Brewery. The mural, which was painted by Glasgow's Andy Fahlgren and Madelyn House, encompasses a reflection of the community, including imagery such as a farmhouse, the powerhouses in Fort Peck, a farmhouse and cows. "The area pays tribute to the many people that helped get us to where we are and it's an honor to pay back," stated Connie Boreson, co-owner, along with Ben Boreson, of the Busted Knuckle.

The project was supported in part by a grant from the Montana Arts Council, an agency of the State Government. After attending a Two Rivers Economic Growth meeting and hearing about a grant opportunity to place a mural, C. Boreson recalls thinking, "I have a place for a mural!" After applying for the grant, which included justifying the needs for the funds and ensuring the funds would be well spent, the Boresons were notified of being the recipient. They then recruited Fahlgren and House to do the design and implementation. "Madelyn has had experience with painting Hi-Line Clogging and Gymnastics. She also updates the window display in the Pehlke Furniture window. She is the town decorator," laughed Fahlgren.

"We started painting in late June/early July, however the idea for the mural started about a year ago," explained House. Even though at first glance, the mural looks like it's completed there are still some finishing touches to be done. "We will be adding a kid with their horse, a tractor and things here and there. Before the snow flies, we will finish up and place the sealant on," stated House.

House and Fahlgren both agree, as the design and painting process started, the project took on a life of its own. "We made mistakes along the way. People would come up to us and talk about the mural, about the community, which gave us ideas and inspirations," said House. "We wanted to incorporate a farm into the mural as a gift to the community. The theme is around Northeast Montana and our area," explained Fahlgren. "It really brightens up the area and we feel proud of the community doing what it can to make the area look nice," said House.

The Busted Knuckle addition provides the ability for the Boresons to manufacture their famous beer in another location than their brewery, which allowed them to expand the seating at their brewery location. In addition to the mural, future plans are to convert the land into a parking lot and astroturf. "I am looking at a variety of grants and opportunities at building up the area. The hope is to utilize the land to have 2/3 of it be a parking lot and 1/3 of it be astroturf. That area would then be utilized as an outdoor venue," explained C. Boreson. Another addition to the land will be an information kiosk, one of three throughout town, which will show locations to go to, and milage to nearby attractions such as the lake and the Fort Peck Summer Theatre. This fall the goal is to get a drainage system put in, so that's all ready to go for the next steps of concrete and astroturf.

C. Boreson stresses for business owners to apply for grants to help with their strategic planning and beautification goals. "So many of these grants funnel money to the Western side of the state. They want opportunities to spend money in Northeast Montana. Two Rivers and the Chamber will help you if need be. There are lots of grants out there!," she stressed.


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