David Ocelotl Garcia recently painted Repollinators, a mural that explores the close connection between the natural world and reducing waste. Street Wise Arts partnered with Resource Central, a Boulder nonprofit dedicated to conservation, to bring this community mural to life. Communication and Program Manager Allyson Burbeck interviewed the artist about his latest project.
Painting his first mural was a powerful experience for artist David Ocelotl Garcia. But a few years ago, that mural, "Huitzilopochtli," was painted over, without permission. David set out to bring the mural back, but he didn't know how that would go. No one in Colorado had attempted what he was going to do. In the process, David discovered the beauty in not just making art, but reviving it.
On Wednesday, Gunnison-based playground equipment manufacturer, ID Sculpture, sent the last of three flatbed semi truck shipments of concrete castings to Denver for the first phase of a $1.5 million public art project called “People’s Bridge of the Sun.” The ID Sculpture team was approached by Denver-based artist, David Ocelotl Garcia, to help bring his designs to life with castings.
Fourteen years ago, David Ocelotl Garcia designed and painted his first mural: a tribal, Mexican-inspired scene depicted across the side of a community organization’s building in the Sun Valley neighborhood of west Denver
“The community embraced it as their own, and I wanted it to be this positive imagery that would manifest in the community while embracing culture and heritage,” David said.
Efforts to preserve and restore the artwork will get a significant boost Wednesday with the announcement that Colorado’s Chicano murals are on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual list of America’s most endangered historic places.
They are the first murals in the nation to make the list in its 34-year existence, and the first Colorado entry since Larimer Square was ranked in 2018.
The Space Between David Ocelotl Garcia’s and Norman Rockwell’s Freedom of Worship
An anthropologist, educator, and Chicano/a murals scholar looks at artist David O. Garcia's dynamically colorful reimagining of Norman Rockwell's 1940s-era Freedom of Worship.