COLORADO SPRINGS- They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a new mural in Colordo Springs is only hoping to convey a single one: Community.

And it now appears on the city’s biggest canvas yet.

In a partnership with Colorado Springs Police Department and Paes 164, a local artist known for free-hand tattoos, murals and revamping the Knobhill Urban Arts District, is taking his street experience and applying it to one of his biggest projects.

“I’ve been doing it my whole life really. I’m almost 45 and I have been tattooing since I was 19 and painting graffiti since I was 16. It’s been a process that has grown from illegal tagging on the street to getting paid to work on people’s properties… now all my years of illegal graffiti paying off,” Paes 164 said.

Paes said several months ago he noticed the empty wall on the back of the CSPD building and reached out to officers with an idea. They said yes.

“It’s crazy almost, because, you know – spank my hand – I’ve gotten in trouble before when I was younger, but I appreciate these guys. These guys have gone through a lot in the last couple of years. They do a lot for our city. So I wanted to just work with them to do something really awesome that the community can come and be like – we love it,” Paes 164 said.

Paes 164 spray painting the new mural in Colorado Springs

The mural is being paid for by a grant – and the main suppply? Spray paint. Enough to cover the 50×350 wall.

“If you see less paint at your local store, that was me,” Paes 164 said.

With no sketch, just a vision, the mural is meant to showcase the beauty of Colorado Springs – from the mountains to downtown, even including the Colorado Springs Police badge.

“Some of the colors on the badge stay as the original colors. But as far as the background and everything else, they were really open. CSPD told me, ‘we enjoy your art. We’ve seen a lot of it’ And they are very supportive of the arts and they want me to do my thing,” Paes 164 said.

Even CSPD Chief Adrian Vasquez got to make his mark on history by spray painting his name on the mural.

CSPD Chief Vasquez spray paints mural. Photo courtesy: The Art of Paes 164

“I think this is going to be a big thing, not only for CSPD and me as an artist, but murals in town, art in town, street art in town. This is big super big. So it’s going to make a big impact. And hopefully, that can be some leverage for other artists in town to, you know, get bigger stuff done,” Paes 164 said.

Paes 164 said he hopes to finish the mural by Friday, June 3. And when you see it – he wants you to take some pictures and share them!

To follow along the artistic journey, visit the Art of Paes 164.