(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Nearly three and a half years after his death, 11-year-old Gannon Stauch is being remembered with a colorful and heartfelt mural on a massive scale–representative of Gannon’s monumental spirit.
Renowned local muralist and tattoo artist Paes 164 is currently painting a mural in Downtown Colorado Springs to honor Gannon. The mural is being created on the wall of a business on Pikes Peak Avenue between Tejon Street and Cascade Avenue.
11-year-old Gannon was reported missing in January of 2020 by his stepmother, Leticia Stauch. His remains were found in Florida two months later. In May of 2023, Gannon’s stepmother was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The idea for a mural was floated by a member of the Facebook group #JusticeforGannon. They got permission from Gannon’s mother before the work began.
“I had received a message from one of our members one day, and she said her and her husband wanted to pay for the mural, and so they did that. And they live in Montana, and they were really just touched by him,” said Kristi Radke, an admin for the Facebook group.
Paes 164 has created other meaningful murals around the city, including one in Old Colorado City memorializing the victims of the Club Q shooting and another honoring the bravery and sacrifice of our city’s police department.
The mural for Gannon features an explosion of bright colors, including Gannon’s favorite blue, with the words “Love One Another #GannonStrong.”
“People walking by… see his face and they know exactly who it is,” said Paes 164 of Gannon’s smiling face framed by angel wings. “I’ve had a couple people out here crying, it was an emotional time for everyone.”
Paes 164 explained that his style of art isn’t usually realism, so he’s pushing himself to capture Gannon in a portrait, but Gannon is worth pushing his own artistic boundaries.
The wall where the mural is being painted previously featured a Mozart mural for 17 years, but the owner of the building approved its replacement with the mural of Gannon.
Paes 164 appreciated the location, calling it “the heart of Downtown,” which will now beat with the life that Gannon lived, for many years to come.