In recent years, Tremonton has become known statewide and beyond for the colorful murals that grace the walls of several buildings around town, celebrating everything from the area’s role in the railroad and aerospace industries to volunteer firefighters to the state’s most venerated rodeo.
Locals have known about the Tremonton murals since they started appearing in the 1970s, but only in the past several years has word spread to other areas, thanks largely to the handiwork of local artist Jason Nessen.
The murals have earned the city numerous awards from the state and prompted articles in newspapers and magazines about the public art installations. This week, a new television series on Utah’s PBS station will feature Nessen’s work and how it has brought recognition to a community that doesn’t always find itself in the spotlight.
KUED, more commonly known as Channel 7, will air the segment during a new half-hour episode of “This is Utah,” a program new to the station this year that highlights stories from people and places all over the state. The episode begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 11.
A press release for the episode, titled “Small Town, Big Vision,” describes why the show decided to turn its lens toward Tremonton:
“Tremonton has a history of murals, dating back to a vigilante artist who began painting on abandoned buildings in the 1970s. These days, local artist Jason Nessen has taken up the helm. Since his first work in 2003, Jason has painted 12 murals around the city, featuring the Tremonton Fire Department, the high school softball team, the family of a local business owner, and more. See how people like Jason have helped Tremonton City win Best of State for Public Art three years in a row.”
In this week’s episode of “This is Utah,” Tremonton shares the spotlight with two stories from southern Utah. Also featured are the owners of Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, which feeds visitors from around the world with only 6.5 acres and 50 employees; and the crew of the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, which is working to make life on Mars a reality by attempting to simulate living conditions on the Red Planet.
“’Small Town, Big Vision’ reveals that breakthrough ideas can come from anywhere,” the press release from KUED reads. “The size of a community doesn’t limit the potential to generate them. In towns where everyone knows your name, Utahns find innovative ways to uplift not just themselves but their communities and beyond.”
For those who miss the premiere this Thursday, the episode featuring Tremonton will be rebroadcast at 12:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 13; 11 a.m. Sunday, July 14; 11 p.m. Monday, July 15; and again at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5.
It will also be available to watch on kued.org, and individual story segments will be shared on KUED’s Facebook page.