SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Arts Council “whalecomed” the city’s newest public arts piece Monday evening.
It’s a life-size sculpture of a breaching humpback whale.
It’s called “Out of the Blue” and is located in the middle of the roundabout at 900 south and 1100 east in the city’s “9th and 9th” area.
The sculpture is the work of artist Stephen Kesler and artist Mike Murdock painted the mural on its surface.
Kesler has been working on the sculpture for six months.
“It kind of tells the story of how I found the 9th and 9th area when I was a teenager,” Kesler said.
He grew up in Midvale and admits to being blown away when he first visited 9th and 9th.
“Something I’d never seen before in Salt Lake,” Kesler said. “The culture, the music, the coffee shops, vegetarian restaurants, it was out of the blue for me for Salt Lake.”
Thus the title for the whale sculpture.
Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Arts Council Executive Director Felicia Baca were among the people who cut the ribbon on the new artwork.
Kesler thanked the community and the arts council for the support, but admitted his sculpture will take some getting used to.
“I know it can be controversial dropping a whale in the middle of someone’s neighborhood and I hope over the years, people love it just as much as I do.”