60′ Mural by Gregg Deal

Nationally renowned Indigenous artist paints 60-foot mural in Downtown Colorado Springs

In July, Indigenous artist and activist Gregg Deal of Peyton, CO will paint a massive, stunning 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.

“Much of my work deals with Indigenous issues, protest and representation, occupying space in ways that are simultaneously beautiful, unexpected and difficult. My desire with this project was to create something that is undeniably Indigenous, but something that can belong to the city of Colorado Springs as well. 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.”

Gregg Deal

The mural is being presented in partnership with HASEYA ADVOCATE PROGRAM, 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.

Deal previously served as a juror for Art on the Streets in 2019. A performance artist and activist as well as a muralist and studio painter, Deal has been an artist-in-residence at the Denver Art Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. He has conducted lectures with the National Endowment for the Arts and TED, was featured in National Geographic, and has appeared on The Daily Show with John Stewart. His paintings are part of museum and private collections across the country, and his mural commissions include the University of Colorado – Boulder, the CRUSH Mural Fest, and the Minneapolis Indian Center.

work in progress

Installation of the mural began Friday, July 17, 2020 by projecting the image on the wall and outlining. Work will continue on July 20 and 21.

ABOUT ART ON THE STREETS

Art on the Streets, an award-winning program of Downtown Ventures, celebrates the power of art in public places, while turning the streets of Downtown Colorado Springs into a yearlong outdoor gallery. The program is supported by private contributions, including founding sponsor U.S. Bank.

Thirteen works were selected for the 22nd annual Art on the Streets exhibit out of 129 entries worldwide. The exhibit launches with a free public scavenger hunt 5-8 p.m. on August 7, 2020. The seven sculptures and six murals will remain on display through May 2021.

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

Art on the Streets is a program of DOWNTOWN VENTURES, the 501c3 charitable nonprofit affiliate of Downtown Partnership dedicated to the arts, historic preservation and other public benefit programs of Downtown Colorado Springs

Posted: July 20, 2020