I had the absolute pleasure to be able to paint with two of my greatest friends I’ve known. Vogey and Grips, are among my favorite artists and crewmates. The painting is located in a part of town known for is lively characters, vibrant nightlife, exotic culture, and gourmet cuisine. The part of the city is Bessemer, Pueblo. My town, Creaturesville, the hood we claim, and the community that supported our rise.
Bessemer is a perfect representation of Pueblo. During the day I met Bessemer locals, Bessemer locos, folks from Mexico, El Salvidor, Guatemala, Italy, and who knows where else. We ate pizza for lunch from the famous Ianne’s Pizzeria, and though I’m sober from alcohol, there are plenty of bars and drinking establishments in the area. At one time this neighborhood had the most bars per capita in the United States. Throughout the day I got to get the most real experience of what I would call Pueblo, my home. The building that we painted housed a rec center and a bar. The people who visit these establishments are largely from other countries. But throughout the day we saw locals of all ages and races. Lots of folks in gang apparel, lots of folks in old apparel. But all through the day, all the people came with nothing but love. Even the time when I feared that the gang members were going to say something and create conflict, even in those moments, all that I experienced was love and appreciation. Even I forget the power of art sometimes, the power that it has to bridge gaps and bring people together on common ground.
The power art is the biggest reason that I paint at this point. I love applying paint and letting my mind run wild and be creative, but what I appreciate most is its ability to bring people together. It firstly brings me together to spend time with friends, but secondly, it allows the artist to become a part of the community. I get such joy from seeing my work be appreciated, or seeing it have the ability to bring a type of joy and inspiration to the world. This is why we do what we do, to inspire, to help, to heal, to create and grow, this is why we take pride in what we do because we take pride in our community.
Even though our city has a terrible reputation due to its high crime rates and drug issues, we still take pride. This city made me who I am; it made us who we are. This town isn’t soft, it’s not for the weak, and neither is the art. The art that thrives in this town is from the streets; it’s the most authentic voice in this town. Street art reflects the neglect that has come to represent this city, and it reveals pockets of people who care enough to maintain and put forth time and money to help fix and make better.
I believe that it is my duty, my responsibility, to spend as much time as possible to use my skills and my passions to make this city, this state, this world a better place. I believe that Pueblo became my home for me to fulfill this mission. I know I can’t do it alone. We need all the help we can get. Over the course of the next few months, I am to raise as much money as I can to create as much public art as possible. Currently, I am selling tee shirts on my website to raise funds for this cause. Over the course of the summer, I will be planning a tour to show all the art and to give people a better idea of where the street art is happening so that the public can begin to explore more of the city and experience more of the wonderful things that it has to offer.
The project is called “The Village Walls.” It will consist of new and old murals, and it will all become a part of an explorer’s guide, and of course, it will ultimately end in more public art, more color, more interest, and hopefully a stronger community that takes pride in the city itself. I hope that all of you can become involved and help support a cause that has managed to beautify the city. Get the shirts at the link below and show your support for the arts in Pueblo.