PIKES PEAK REGION, Colo. — The Solidarity Mobile Mural Project features ten murals by local Black artists placed throughout Downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, and Manitou Springs.
In addition to local businesses, the exhibit targets vacant storefronts along the Avenue Creative Circuit, turning a negative – empty windows that dissuade visitors – into a positive, with inviting, vibrant works of art.
“We saw in our community we have these amazing artists of color who are doing fantastic work and for one reason or another have been less appreciated have been receiving of fewer opportunities, and we thought what can we do to sort of call attention to not only their work but to some of the currents that are keeping them out of places where we would normally want to see their work,” voiced Claire Swinford the Director of Urban Engagement for the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs.
“I didn’t know that things like this were accessible for like beginners or anybody for that matter so I think it’s really cool and makes me feel excited to be a part of this community that we have you know outreach programs and stuff like this,” Vashti Ruiz, first-time artist said.
The artwork in this exhibit reflects on the artists’ lived experiences, their perception of beauty, and their aspirations for the community.
“I just wanted to celebrate some of the women in my family. They’ve gone through hardships and have come out stronger, and I just kind of wanted to celebrate that and, like Echinacea, it survives harsh winters and comes back in the spring thriving,” Ruiz said about her piece. “I kind of wanted to use that as a metaphor for some of the women in my family.”
According to a news release, the murals are mobile in nature, printed on special adhesive paper by Creative Consortium and hosted by private property owners throughout the Creative Circuit.
Most will remain in their current locations until the end of Arts Month when they travel to new, yet-to-be-announced locations. Locals can keep track and request a mural here.
While they accepted work only from black artists, that doesn’t mean the exhibit is only for black artists.
“We all have a role to play in making it truly about Solidarity, right? So we are calling people to grab their friends, grab their family members, and go out and seek out this exhibit,” Swinford said.
To find out the full lists of the artists’ work and their locations click here.