BILLINGS - The next time you drive through downtown Billings, you might notice it's a little more scenic thanks to a local artist and art teacher who spent her summer off following her dreams.
"This is one of the greatest things that's happened to me for sure. It means the world to me," said Rilie Zumbrennen, artist and teacher at Elysian Elementary School.
Three years ago, if you would have met Zumbrennen, you would have found her in a cubicle right across the street from where she is now in the Wells Fargo building in downtown Billings, working in the payroll industry while going to MSU-Billings to become a teacher.
It was a lot of work. It was a lot of coming and going and late nights studying until 2 a.m.
"No matter how big the task seems or how difficult it is, do it anyway and you might be surprised at what you can do," she said.
It was a message heard loud and clear with every single brush stroke on the gigantic canvas as her students watched.
Downtown Billings has 15 murals with three more on the way, according to the Downtown Billings Association. They say the idea is to showcase artists, create gathering spaces and deter undesired activities by cleaning up otherwise dark and unclean alleys and spaces.