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Artist unveils puzzle of American Fork as Center Street mural

By Ashtyn Asay - | May 24, 2022
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The American Fork city puzzle, created by Eric Dowdle, is shown on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
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The American Fork city puzzle, created by Eric Dowdle, is shown on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
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The American Fork city puzzle, created by Eric Dowdle, is shown on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

American Fork residents can now see their city through the eyes of artist Eric Dowdle in a new mural that sits at 50 North Center Street in American Fork.

The highly-detailed mural highlights American Fork landmarks from Alpine Stake Tabernacle and American Fork High School to local businesses like Parker’s Drive-In and Towne Cinemas. and will be available for purchase in the form of a 500-piece puzzle.

Dowdle started his company in the 90s’ when he began selling custom home paintings, door-to-door. Now, he has a partnership with Disney, painting their iconic characters, and Dowdle Folk Art has sold more than 10 million puzzles worldwide.

To decide what establishments and people should make it into the cityscape, Dowdle first meets with city officials to determine their “must-haves,” and find out what items are on their wish list.

“The wish list we might not put everything in because if we put everything in it would start to look like Where’s Waldo… just a little bit over the top,” Dowdle said. “The city does most of the steering as far as content.”

Dowdle has painted other Utah municipalities, including Provo, Salt Lake City and St. George, and has a long waiting list of cities hoping to be memorialized in a Dowdle original. What set American Fork apart was the tenacity of two of its residents, Summerisa and Spencer Stevens, president and vice-president of Harrington Center for the Arts.

“All the credit goes to the Harrington Center for the Arts, all the credit goes to Spencer and his wife Summerisa, those two are fantastic,” Dowdle said. “They called us and they instigated it. I wasn’t sure if I was going to have the time to do it, we get asked to do a lot of different cities and places… but they were so passionate and they love the arts, that’s what made it happen.”

Dowdle believes that the time and energy American Fork City and the Harrington Center for the Arts have invested will help shape the city as an artistic hub in the future.

“Any town that takes the time and energy to rejuvenate that part of town goes a long way,” he said. “That’s why I believe that in doing what they are doing, American Fork… is going to become a more artistic center here in Utah County.”

The mural was unveiled on Saturday during a community event that included live performances, bounce houses, food and more. Dowdle added that the celebration had an “old-fashioned Americana” feel.

Those interested in purchasing their own limited-edition American Fork prints or 500-piece puzzles can place presale orders at http://harringtoncenter.org. The target date for pre-orders to be fulfilled is June 11.

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