Grab a paintbrush and leave your mark on Colorado Springs history!
The City of Colorado Springs is inviting its residents to bring some beauty to downtown with a 320-foot mural and light installation. Spearheaded by nationally recognized artist Mauricio Ramirez, the Conejos Mural Project will become the city's largest public art project. Located at the I-25 underpass at Colorado Avenue, the mural will celebrate former Conejos neighborhood residents, honoring their past and commemorating the future.
Illinois-based artist Ramirez previously painted a 70-foot mural in Colorado Springs. Located at 20 North Cascade Avenue, the "Fire in My Sol" mural was a part of the 2019 Art on the Streets project. For the Conejos Mural, Ramirez hopes to showcase the resilience and impact residents had on the city and celebrate the residents'—and the city's—bright future.
Join Ramirez on Community Paint Days to become a part of local history. Residents of all ages are welcome to grab a paintbrush and paint under Ramirez's instruction. Community Paint Days occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 18, 19, 28, and 29. Organizers are asking participants to wear a mask and practice social distancing guidelines.
A rendering of what the completed Conejos Mural will look like. Courtesy Downtown Colorado Springs (Facebook)
The Conejos neighborhood, located where America the Beautiful Park now resides, was a small community with a vibrant culture. The neighborhood was comprised of those who worked at the mines, mills, and railroads. They were integral to building Colorado Springs' infrastructure.
After residents moved away and the Rio Grande Grocery and Market (the staple community meeting place) closed, the neighborhood was abandoned and forgotten. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum unveiled a permanent exhibit to honor the residents and the once-vibrant four-block area they occupied. The exhibition, named "Una Familia Grande," displays photos and stories depicting what life was like in Conejos. The exhibit and the Conejos Mural Project hope to pay homage to the community and celebrate the love, family, and culture that came from it.
On August 12, Ramirez joined former Conejos residents for a virtual discussion about the neighborhood, mural, and how they will tie together. Watch a recording of the talk here.
Learn more about the mural here.