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Have you noticed some new bears in town? If you are driving down Washington Street, check out the painting on the side of the Rest Assured Inn and Suites building.

The artist is Susan Shambor Houghton. She is originally from Connecticut but has lived in the Salt Lake area for the last five years.

Susan had gone through some difficult times and decided to reconnect with nature to ground herself. She decided to spend some time around Yellowstone Park. Susan packed up her belonging and took off for a new adventure. She stayed in and around the Park for the summer.

Susan loved art and painting, so she took inspiration from the beauty around her. Susan has been painting since she was in fifth grade, and one of the nuns at the Catholic school she attended had her paint a mural. Her older siblings were always drawing and painting, so it just came naturally to her. She has enjoyed art as a way to express herself ever since.

After spending time in Yellowstone, she was praying for a way to get her life back on track, she decided to head to Arizona. On the way, she discovered the Bear Lake Valley.

There was something different here, so she decided to stop. She stopped to check out lodging at the Rest Assured Inn but wasn’t sure the cost was in her budget. Derek Ryder, the owner of the Inn, saw some of her paintings and liked one of them. He wanted to purchase it, but Susan had painted that one for someone else. The two talked some more, and Derek asked about having a mural put on the side of his building. Good things are happening in Montpelier, and Ryder felt Montpelier needed some art in town. Susan agreed to work on the mural. She was camping outside, but after a colder night, than she was used to, she told Ryder the project might not work out. Ryder worked out a deal where she could stay at the Inn while working on the mural.

Ryder decided he would like a bear and some aspens in the painting, maybe even a couple of cubs. Susan started to draw out the picture, and she obtained the supplies to do the job. She even had a former artist from Bear Lake donated some paint.

Soon people started to stop and ask her about the painting and herself. She was so happy to find that so many people here were Christians and believed in Jesus. The children also stopped to watch her and ask questions about painting. Susan loved being able to teach them. Susan says she always tries to follow the will of God and seek truth and honesty.

One person stopped and asked if she was painting 399, the bear from Grand Teton and her cubs that many people had loved seeing when visiting the Park. It didn’t start that way, but Susan did put in four cubs like 399’s family.

Susan finished the painting and loved it here so much she even asked the Mayor if the City needed a City artist. Unfortunately, they didn’t. Susan is trying to find a way to stay in the area and has had inquiries about some more art. She has a couple of jobs and hoping for more. Maybe you would like something done at your place.

You can contact Susan at 475-559-0282.

Who knows what the future may bring for Susan and her art. We are glad to have some beauty to look at.

Thanks, Susan.

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.

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