This 8’ high and 30’ long mural was painted in 1998 by Tina and Ken Riesterer. It was commissioned by, the owner of the building at that time, Larry Mitchell and is on the second floor level of the entrance atrium of the Woodland Park Professional Building. The artists completed a series of 4’x8’ canvas panels representing the history of Teller County and Woodland Park from a set of 1850’s to the early 1900’s pictures, collected by the artists from the Woodland Park library and the Ute Pass Historical Society.
Tina and Ken incorporated family and friends in the mural. Likenesses of their family are included in the pioneer family on the right side of the mural. Tina is the pioneer lady holding a baby. Ken is the pioneer man in overalls. Their daughter, Elena is the girl in the pink dress and their son Mark is the boy in the checked shirt. A friend’s daughter, Christina is the girl in the blue jumper. They even incorporated their two dogs, Matisse (black and white) and Giotto (in Elena’s arms) in the mural. The couple with their backs to the viewer are local artists C.H. Rocky and friend Marcy Ackert. The Ute Pass Rodeo is depicted in the upper right of the mural. The two lumber jacks are depictions of local artists Steve Wood, of Concrete Couch, and Michael Greer who paints icons and creates stained glass. The church scene is what is believed to be a child’s funeral at the Methodist church still located at the corner of Henrietta and Park Street in Woodland Park. It is believed that it is a child’s funeral because the pall bearers are women.
The scenes of ice harvesting represent actual operations that took place at Lake George and Lake Coulson in Teller County. The Midland Railway wildflower excursion train that went to Eleven Mile Canyon and then stopped at the Florissant Fossil Beds is in the center of the mural. The mural also depicts potatoes and lettuce being harvested. The woman bending over to harvest lettuce is reminiscent of a Van Gough painting. The Ute Indians and pioneers in wagons coming up Ute Pass are depicted on the far left.
The Riesteres are artists and joint owners, with other artists, of the Green Horse Gallery in Manitou Springs. Also in the atrium are copies of the original photos of the scenes in the mural. (Source: conversation with the artist. Special thanks to Mel McFarland for his historical research and locating the historical photos which were the source of the scenes in the mural.)