Artists Celebrate Town Plaza Mural Completion

Artists Celebrate Town Plaza Mural Completion


THIS PROGRAM IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY ACE HARDWARE. ACE HARDWARE YOUR HELPFUL HARDWARE STORE. YOU’RE WATCHING DURANGO TV NEWS, I’M WENDY
GRAHAM SETTLE. IT’S HARD TO MISS THE 200-FOOT-LONG MURAL
THAT STRETCHES ALONG THE BACK WALL OF THE KROEGER BUILDING IN TOWN PLAZA. IT’S CALLED, SIMPLY, THE TOWN PLAZA MURAL. AND NOW, YOU’LL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO MEET
THE ARTISTS AND VOLUNTEERS WHO CREATED DURANGO’S LARGEST MURAL AT A CELEBRATION SCHEDULED FOR
5 P.M. ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17TH, BY THE PLAZA. THE MURAL IS A PROJECT OF LOCAL FIRSTS’ CREATIVE
ARTS INITIATIVE THAT CONNECTS LOCAL FIRST BUSINESSES WITH ARTISTS TO SUPPORT BUSINESS
GROWTH, PROVIDE LIVING WAGES TO LOCAL ARTISTS, BEAUTIFY THE AREA, AND GROW A THRIVING ARTISAN
NETWORK IN LA PLATA COUNTY. THE PROJECT WAS SUPPORTED BY A 5,000-DOLLAR
CREATIVE GRANT FROM THE CITY OF DURANGO ALONG WITH SPONSORSHIPS FROM A NUMBER OF BUSINESSES. AND LEAD ARTISTS, MATTHEW FRENCH-HOLT, HAYLEY
KIRKMAN, AND LEXIS LOEB, IDENTIFIED THE KROEGER BUILDING AS THE CANVAS FOR THE GIANT MURAL
BECAUSE OF ITS LOCATION NEXT TO THE DURANGO AND SILVERTON TRAIN TRACKS WHERE HUNDREDS
OF THOUSANDS OF VISITORS PASS EACH YEAR. A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD ARGUE THAT IT NEEDED
A LITTLE SPRUCING AND IT WAS A PERFECT PARTNERSHIP WITH A HARDWARE STORE THAT SOLD PAINT. AND WE WERE REALLY EXCITED TO BRING THIS TO
AN AREA THAT WAS OTHERWISE OVERLOOKED BY PASSENGERS ON THE TRAIN AND PEOPLE WALKING PAST 11TH
STREET, OR 10TH STREET. YEAH SO, WE WE THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT AVENUE
AND ALLEY TO DISPLAY SUCH A LARGE PIECE. WE JUST WANTED TO DO SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT
THAN WHAT’S BEEN DONE IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN DURANGO WE WANTED IT TO BE COLORFUL. THE ARTISTS CAME UP WITH THE CONCEPT OF REPRESENTING
THE LA PLATA COUNTY LIFESTYLE AFTER HOLDING A NUMBER OF COMMUNITY MEETINGS TO GENERATE
IDEAS. ALL THE PLANTS AND ANIMALS ARE ACTUALLY NATIVE,
YOU KNOW, HERE TO THE REGION, SO WE CAME UP WITH A LOT OF DIFFERENT IDEAS FOR THAT. IT WAS A LOT OF FUN THE ANIMAS RIVER AND THE DURANGO AND SILVERTON
NARROW GAUGE TRAIN TRACKS UNIFY THE MURAL’S SCENES. RAFTERS, FISHERMEN, SKIERS, DOG-WALKING HIKERS,
AND OTHERS ARE DEPICTED AS SOUTHWESTERN INDIAN PICTOGRAPHS. AN IMAGE OF THE SOUTHERN UTE BEAR DANCE WAS
CREATED BY NAVAJO ARTIST PAIGE BELINTE THE MURAL ALSO HAS AN INTERACTIVE COMPONENT. SO WE WANTED TO CREATE THESE ASPEN’S WITH
THE IDEA THAT PEOPLE COULD COME AND TAKE PICTURES IN FRONT OF THEM. HENCE, THE HEART DGO AND THEY HAVE BEEN REALLY
POPULAR. WE’VE SEEN A LOT OF PEOPLE TAKING PICTURES
IN FRONT OF IT SENIOR PORTRAITS. DURANGO ARTIST LEXIS LOEB SAYS SHE HOPES THE
MURAL WILL NOT ONLY ENTERTAIN TRAIN RIDERS AS THEY PASS BY, BUT ALSO WILL INSPIRE DURANGO
RESIDENTS TO APPRECIATE WHY THEY LIVE IN THE AREA. I THOUGHT IT WAS AN AWESOME OPPORTUNITY TO
JUST LIKE EXPRESS MY APPRECIATION FOR WHAT I FIND IMPORTANT IN DURANGO, AND I THINK THAT
LIKE WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT WHAT ALL OF US ARE HERE FOR IS LIKE THE NATURAL FLORA
AND FAUNA THAT MAKE THIS PLACE SO UNIQUE. AND I THINK WE JUST OWE HOMMAGE TO THEM FOR
ALL BEING HERE AND LIKE LIVING THE LIFE WE LIVE SO. IT’S JUST BEEN A LOT OF FUN TO WORK WITH THE
COMMUNITY AND AND LIKE REALLY UNDERSTAND THE PLANTS AND ANIMALS THAT DO ARE HERE AND I
DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE IT UNTIL THIS PROJECT. IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MURAL
OR THE CELEBRATION EVENT, V SIT THE LOCAL FIRST WEB SITE AT LOCAL-FIRST.ORG. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF DURANGO
TV NEWS. IF YOU LIKED THIS STORY, YOU CAN WATCH AGAIN
ON OUR WEBSITE AT DURANGOTV.COM, WHERE YOU ALSO CAN FIND AN ARCHIVE OF ALL OUR PAST STORIES
AND SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSLETTER. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN CATCH US ON DURANGO
CABLE TV CHANNEL 15. I’M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE FOR DURANGO TV NEWS.

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