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Sweet Pea Festival is looking for the next mural depicting an endangered species



Bozeman, Montana – The next Sweet Pea Festival and the mural funded by the Craighead Institute are slowly but surely coming together.

The lead on a potential mural canvas to be given has been found, according to festival director Kris Olenicki, and it’s the side of a barn. All that’s left to do is locate an artist who will use one of the remaining species on a list of endangered or threatened species in Montana to build a mural.

On the exterior of a house close to downtown, one artist, Griffin Foster, finished his mural of the water howellia, a vulnerable aquatic flower, in 2020. They are currently exclusively present in the Swan Valley and other Northwest regions of Montana.

Foster used spray paint to create his mural, adding symbolism to the work.

“You can see how I’mkind of like breaking them and splicing them. I kind of am like breaking between like abstract and realism to, like, hint at the population loss, you know? And I mean, they’resort of getting fractured into, like nonexistence,” he said.

These five murals were made in association with the Craighead Institute by Sweet Pea. In addition to the water howellia, they have so far collaborated with local artists to create grizzly bears, white and pallid sturgeons, bull trout, and whooping cranes. Although all murals are on private land, they were designed such that the general public can still enjoy them.

Artists who are interested in painting the lynx, black-footed ferret, and whitebark pine tree are currently sought after by Sweet Pea and Craighead.

Send an email to Kris Olenicki, the director of the Sweet Pea Festival, at if you have a space you’d want to contribute to raise awareness about an endangered species.

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