“We’re still citizens and that should matter”: Art on the Street in Colorado Springs highlights indigenous issues

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COLORADO SPRINGS– Indigenous artist and activist Gregg Deal of Peyton, is painting a 60-foot-tall mural in Downtown Colorado Springs as part of the 22nd annual Art on the Streets exhibit.

This mural may be the largest known portrait of an Indigenous person ever to be painted in the U.S.

The mural, titled Take Back the Power, will occupy the east wall of the well-known brick office building on the northeast corner of 3 N. Tejon, most recently home to Carlie’s Convenience Store.

The mural design shows Deal’s daughter, 14-year-old Sage Deal, wearing a mix of contemporary clothing and traditional Indigenous accessories.

She is depicted with a red handprint painted on the lower half of her face, a reference to the national #MMIWG2S campaign bringing awareness to the high rate at which Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ) individuals go missing or are murdered.

“This mural raises questions about the inherent invisibility of Indigenous people, specifically referencing the abnormally high rate at which Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit individuals go missing or are murdered. This is an issue in El Paso County and around the nation. With this portrait of my oldest daughter, I hope to move the viewer and open up dialogue within the local community,” said Deal.

The mural is being presented in partnership with Haseya Advocate Program (haseya.org), a local nonprofit organization working to address violence against Indigenous survivors of domestic and sexual violence in El Paso County.

Additional support was provided by Colorado Creative Industries; The Woape Foundation; Robin Munro, Founder of Crush Walls and HQ Gallery (paint); and Gary Roland, Flatirons Political Art.

The program is supported by private contributions, including founding sponsor U.S. Bank.

A map of all works in the 2020-2021 exhibit as well as artist statements can be found at DowntownCS.com/AOTS.

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