A passerby on East Main Street stopped and stared when a flash of orange paint caught his eye Thursday afternoon.

“It’s beautiful, just beautiful,” he said.

The man was staring at a new mural on an outside wall of the Montana Angler Fly shop. Artist and civil engineer Juliene Sinclair is creating the piece, and has been working on it all week.

Friday night’s downtown Bozeman Art Walk will feature the mural. People can watch Sinclair paint between 5 and 7 p.m.

The mural depicts a vibrantly colored brown trout hopping out of a lake. The fish dominates the wall with mountains, a starry night and water filling the background. The wall is about 75 feet long and 20 feet high.

Owner of the shop and guide business, Brian McGeehan, commissioned Sinclair to create the piece.

“It was just a big white wall, and we thought, ‘boy, we really need to have a mural there,’” McGeehan said. The shop has been at the location for a little more than a year.

Sinclair, 32, has made two previous murals — one in Lindley Park and one in Germany. She attended high school in Germany and said living there was influential.

“All of my time in Europe was spent around public art. So it was deep-seated in me to create public art,” Sinclair said.

McGeehan and Sinclair collaborated to pick a design for the wall, however, Sinclair said she likes to keep plans simple.

“I’ve learned that getting too detailed in design is a waste of time because it always changes when it’s on the wall,” Sinclair said.

McGeehan said he wanted something that represented the outdoors in a fun way, but also wanted Sinclair’s personal style to come through. He said he really likes her Lindley Park mural, which won a Bozeman Beautification Award from the city in 2018.

That personal style came through in little details, like including a mandala design and painting the brown trout with bright orange paint.

Sinclair already has plans for another mural in Bozeman. Craighead Institute and Sweet Pea Festival are working together on a project to create murals around town depicting endangered species. Sinclair will start painting one in conjunction with the festival.

But for now, the fly shop mural needs some final touches.

“It’ll come all together when the mayflies are in,” Sinclair said.

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