Community Mural honors Conejos Neighborhood

First seen in the Colorado Springs Independent

Painting has begun on Colorado Springs’ newest mural on the Colorado Avenue I-25 underpass, highlighting the history of the Conejos neighborhood. It is the largest of the city’s murals at 320 feet long. This is award-winning national artist Mauricio Ramirez’s second mural in Colorado Springs — the first was “Fire in my Sol,” on display at the Penrose Library since 2019.

This new mural represents the past and future of the Conejos neighborhood — once located in the area that now includes America the Beautiful Park — which was home to City Councilor Yolanda Avila and Rep. Tony Exum. It will juxtapose the past and present with black-and-white portraits of past Latino residents of Colorado Springs and color portraits of current Latino residents. The mural is presented by the Downtown Development Authority’s Gateways Initiative, in partnership with the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, whose Una Familia Grande exhibit highlights the history, cultural achievements and civic contributions of the residents of the Conejos neighborhood.

Ramirez says, “I create artwork that crosses borders and boundaries … My more personal artwork is a contribution to the community; frequently a cultural icon that transcends rich intersecting historical and popular culture references that speak to the complex diaspora of the United States. I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of how the visibility of culture can lead to not only the growth of confidence, but also care within our communities.”

The community is invited to help paint from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 28 and 29. People can also pick up coloring book pages depicting the mural.