COLORADO SPRINGS — Artists like Muji Rieger and Molly McClure are working to bring Colorado Springs public art.
“Trying to give a voice to people and put people in the spotlight is really important to us a group,” said McClure, treasurer and part founder of the Knobhill Urban Arts District.
They’re part of the Knobhill Urban Arts District and have 45 murals that cover one mile of east Platte, between Union Boulevard and Circle Drive.
“Currently, in the city of Colorado Springs, there’s no public art program. So, we are that public art program,” said Rieger, executive director for the Knobhill Urban Arts District
Knobhill Urban Arts District uses these murals as a platform for people, giving a voice to those underrepresented.
“We want to give a voice to graffiti artists, we want to give a voice to all of the underserved. And it’s not just people of color, it’s all of the underserved. There’s a lot of anti-graffiti sentiment in the world and they don’t like it, but the taggers have a rich culture and they are dope, you know what I mean? Even if you can’t read it, it’s dope,” Rieger said.
The artwork is a showcase of different cultures.
“We just did a collective piece last summer with Fannie Mae Duncan. We were trying to commemorate her and all the beauty that she provided this city because she helped de-segregate. And she had a wonderful bar and she refused segregation,” McClure said.
Now, with continuing protests sparked by George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis, the group is hoping to create a socially-themed mural.
“We want to use our voice of art to bring attention to a lot of these issues. We paint mostly people of color on our walls because of the lack of representation,” Rieger said.
Since its founding three years ago, the Knobhill Urban Arts District connects artists with local businesses to get a mural painted on their wall.
“We got this grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in partnership with Colorado Springs Food Rescue. And we wanted to call attention to the food desert, that is the Knobhill Urban Arts District,” Rieger said.
“To be able to uplift the city had been truly, truly an honor,” McClure said.