Picketwire turns 50 this year. To prepare for its momentous year, the Picketwire Board and some very dedicated volunteers have given of their free time to make improvements to its historic building and grounds.
As you drive by 8th and San Juan Avenue, you may notice some artistic additions at Picketwire. Eight metal statues have just been placed in front of the building. The statues were the brainstorm of Picketwire Board President, Tracey Salzbrenner. She had wanted exterior artwork to better define the purpose of the building. “Many people would drive by and think Picketwire was a church. Now, passers-by will recognize it as a true theatre.”
Silhouettes were chosen and sent to be cut out of metal by Malcolm Muth and were then taken to Sam Stoddard for sandblasting, and finally to Ruby’s Auto Body for a fresh coat of paint. Joe Trainor and Bret Coates poured the concrete and set the statues, assisted by Danny Coates, Grant Elliott, and Board members Cameron Salzbrenner, Scott Goheen, Tracey Salzbrenner, and Desiree Goheen. The week before the statues were placed, the Board of directors and volunteers helped correct and start again the rock project that they had been trying to fix for the last couple of years. They dug down the dirt, placed new landscape fabric, and moved the old rock up to the parking lot between the bushes.
Crews from Vanhook’s brought in newly purchased rock and spread it around where the statues would be placed. Bret Coates, Jeanne Coates and J.C. Carrica brought in equipment which helped to make it possible with volunteers Paeton Coates, Bret Coates and Tom Seaba. Ward 2 City Councilwoman, Elaine McIntyre, also assisted with the project both weekends.
The Statue Project was designed to represent live theatre productions that were produced throughout Picketwire’s fifty year history. The statues, from 8th Street to 9th Street are: a drama mask, a comedy mask, a well-dressed lady to represent all the wonderful costumes designed, a cowboy to represent melodramas and locally written plays about farms and ranches, a couple dancing to represent choreography in our musicals, children to represent the many young people who have participated in our Picketwire family, a man to represent a variety of plays, and a treble clef to represent all the wonderful music heard in our building during plays and concerts.
Funding the project were eight Picketwire Patrons: Cameron and Tracey Salzbrenner, La Junta Trading Co., Lindy and R.J. Nelson, the Kolomitz Family, the Mark Sarlo family, Barbra Hjelmstad, the Lagergren family, and the Carmen and Lydia Sarlo children. These donations and all the volunteer labor represent the great history that is the Picketwire Players: 50 years of volunteers taking care of an historic WPA building and producing fantastic live theatre!
Look for future news about additional building projects such as these that are underway: new carpeting in the building and our fantastic, newly constructed light booth, funded through memorials honoring Ken Scroll.
The light booth was made possible by three Board Members: Cameron Salzbrenner, Scott Goheen and Zach Zamora. They have worked tirelessly to complete the booth, while working full-time jobs we might add! Keep an eye out for these exciting new improvements and more great things to come from Picketwire during our 50th Anniversary Year!