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BLM Donates Dinosaur Mural to Canyon View Junior High

Emery School District maintenance workers install the mural at Canyon View Junior High.

A little bit of the Jurassic period has been added to Canyon View Junior High School thanks to a generous donation by the Price Bureau of Land Management.

An impressive mural which has been in the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry Visitors' Center for nearly 40 years has been donated to the school by the BLM. It now hangs in the Canyon View Food Court, adorning the back wall.

"It's like looking through a huge picture window into a prehistoric backyard," Principal Larry Davis said of the mural.

The framed mural is 13' x 6' and depicts a Jurassic ecosystem complete with several species of dinosaurs in a wetland environment. Although the BLM could not identify the original artist, the work was in place when the visitors' center was dedicated in 1968. One possibility is that the mural was a project of a local art consortium which included several artists.

Mike Leschin, Price BLM geologist and paleontologist, said that the visitors' center at Cleveland-Lloyd is going through a massive renovation cycle which will ultimately double the size of the facility.

In addition to the physical changes, the BLM is also reinterpreting the theme of the facility. The mural does not quite fit the new motif.

Over the years, the mural has been part of educational tours at the visitors' center, not only for what it represents in relation to the dinosaur quarry, but also for what is shown in the mural which is not indicative of the dinosaur quarry. Leschin points out that the swampy environment in the mural was not in place at the time dinosaurs inhabited the area but something that came later. There are also some inaccuracies in the size and dimension of some of the dinosaurs.

The mural was trucked from the quarry to the junior high school a few weeks ago and mounted on the wall by Emery District maintenance workers.

In addition to the mural, the school has recently added several other works of art, including four paintings by artist Joe Venus.

"We believe art can add to the educational experiences of our students," Davis said. "Whenever we can, we want to expand such learning opportunities." The artwork, he also points out, has improved the aesthetic quality of the school as well.

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