Artist picked for Centennial Trail Tunnel mural

Posted at 4:55 PM, May 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-18 18:55:39-04

HELENA — Helena’s City Commission recently announced the artist picked to paint the centennial trail tunnel mural.

The City Commission, upon the recommendation of the Helena Public Art Committee, awarded the contract to Elise Perpignano. For $15,000, Perpignano will paint a mural along the tunnel walls between Centennial Park and Memorial Park.

Perpignano was born and raised in Helena. Having attended school for graphic design and painting, Perpignano is utilizing all of those skills to create this 3,000-square-foot piece of public art.

“It makes art more accessible to everyone, you know. I feel like not everyone can afford to buy a big fancy painting for their mantle, you know. And I also feel like public art is a point of pride for people,” says Perpignano.

The inspiration for the piece itself came from much research on Perpignano’s part, uncovering parts of her city she had no idea about.

“I mean I'm from born and raised in Helena and I just feel like I uncovered like such a cool, secret history almost that I didn't even know growing up, you know,” says Perpignano.

The piece is a collage of what makes Helena, Helena. It incorporates such topics as Helena’s history, indigenous tribes, the railroad, and plant species found in the area.

“Helena’s such a fun blend of like nature, history, and I don't know, it just feels, it feels good to kind of mix it all together like that in a collage type situation, so,” says Perpignano.

The painting will begin in June and will be completed by the end of August.