Walk up Rodney Street, in our little business district that used to look quite spare and bland, and see new life, new art, and a new sense of community – revitalized by neighbors, creatives and business owners. The Myrna Loy’s “Rodney Street Is…” project has taken root in our neighborhood, and the people here have made the most of the opportunities this project offers.
About the murals:
Petal Pursuit by Griffin Foster
This mural celebrates some of the lesser-known plant species native to the Helena area. Here they are depicted in a cubist style using unusual color tones, reflecting the context of the Rodney Street neighborhood. It was such a joy to watch this Bozeman artist wield his spray paint with speed and precision.
Rodney Peacocks by Sophie Mathis
Across many cultures, peacocks are symbols of growth, rejuvenation, respect, honor, and integrity. In Rodney Street, we feel these symbols represent our wonderful little neighborhood. They’re proud, loud, and sassy!
Rodney Street was named after early Helena resident, Dr. Rodney Pococke. Due to the similarities in the names, we thought that a giant peacock would be the perfect symbol to welcome everyone into Rodney’s commercial district.
Sophie Mathis’s grandmother grew up in Rodney Street, and urged young Sophie to answer our Call for Artists. She rode that lift with confidence, worked deep into the night a few times, and leaves us with a gift that will last many years.
The murals are just the most visible part of a project that has transformed the area. Neighbors have come together to make art, to vision a future, to comment on neighborhood development, to participate in planning, and to celebrate Helena’s oldest neighborhood.
Manda Reese facilitated the murals. Rodda Paint donated the paint. B&B Market let us use their lift for an entire week. Neighbors brought water and snacks, and let the artists camp in their yards. KTVH and the Helena Independent Record both did stories. Jesters Bar and the Probation and Parole Building, of course, collaborated.
Our “Rodney Street Is…” project is a collaboration between artists, businesses, and local government to celebrate community through art in the Rodney Street neighborhood. It is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.