JASPER, In. (WEHT) A new hand-painted mural by a local artist is coming to liven up the Jasper Riverwalk.

“I was so honored to be chosen to do this mural, I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever done,” says artist Laura Pommier.

Pommier is a Jasper native, but her love of art took her to Florida. Now, she returns to create an immersive mural on the Jasper Riverwalk underneath the 3rd Avenue and State Road 162 bridge.

“it’s kind of an imaginary type interpretation of our environment, which is a good thing I think for people to bring art and nature together. Artists can put a different perspective on something like this, and make you think twice about nature, and how we connect with it,” says Pommier.

The project comes about due to a grant from the Indiana Destination Development Corporation, with matching funds from multiple Dubois County organizations to emphasize the importance of art in Jasper, and inspire future generations.

“Artwork brings joy to the heart, it’s vital in the community; you’ll see murals throughout the town…The theme that Laura picked out is something that can relate to everybody. Seeing animals or lily pads on the wall or up on the ceiling – something that kids could probably draw in their notebook or sketchbook at school – just giving them the inspiration that they can do what she’s doing professionally,” says Emily Colucci-Peak, Visual Arts Coordinator at Jasper Community Arts.

Whitney Lubbers, Executive Director at Visit Dubois County, agrees, and says this is the first of many artistic projects coming.

“We brainstormed some different ideas, and we decided what really needed to be done was transforming art type projects into our downtown, and kind of combining that. So with that, the 3rd Avenue bridge is our kickoff,” says Lubbers.

Pommier says she hopes to have her mural completed by the end of September. The longtime artist adds that she is thankful art is getting recognition for its ability to transform a community for the better.

“we want the jobs in the arts that we love, and now they are finally realizing how much that brings to a community – and really it’s one of the least expensive ways to vibrate a community,” says Pommier.