New whale sculpture in Salt Lake City sparks conflicting thoughts in community

A public artwork on the east side of Salt Lake City has sparked differing opinions among community residents.

Artist Stephen Kesler created his massive, life-size sculpture of a humpback whale titled “Out of the Blue” with the intention of reflecting the 9th and 9th Wards he loves. Mike Murdock, another artist, added to Kesler’s work by painting a multicolored mural over it. This mural will most likely change every few years as more artists step forward to put their own touches on top of the sculpture, a tradition that would coincide with Kesler’s intentions to reflect the neighborhood in which is the room.

Many community residents shared their love for the coin while many others shared what they dislike about it.

Sunny Evans, a resident who works at a nearby cafe, says the artwork brings a lot of charm to the already cool neighborhood, a belief shared by several other community members. But Sonia Rubinfeld and a few other residents shared their aversions to the sculpture.

Art critic Scott Hill says it’s great to see how Kesler’s creation sparks conversation because it’s important for a community to have different perspectives on a work of art.

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