Vermijo Park retaining wall becomes a mural

       It used to be 360 square feet (90 feet long by 4 feet high) of blank concrete.
       Now the retaining wall by the Midland Trail in Vermijo Park is a mural.

The left-most 15 feet or so can be seen on the new, 90-foot-wide "Timelapse" mural off the Midland Trail in Vermijo Park. Combining mosaic and paint, the work was created by the Concrete Couch group July 1-5 with about 25 volunteers.
Westside Pioneer photo

A shot from the side shows the entire 90-foot width of the retaining wall after the mural was completed by Concrete Couch. Participants' names appear along the bottom.
Westside Pioneer photo

       It came about as a group endeavor July 1-5, led by the Concrete Couch, a local nonprofit that specializes in community art efforts.
       The work combines paint and mosaic tiles to show the progress, from left to right, of a day in the wild in the Rocky Mountains.
       The title is “Timelapse: Outside Your Door.” According to project coordinator Lisbet Rattenborg, “It's Timelapse because it goes through a whole day in Colorado from one end to the other - dawn to night - in a short span of time, similar to the way a time lapse photo documents the passage of time.”
       Funded by several groups and businesses - identified in the mural itself - the creation was open to anyone who wanted to join in. In all, about 25 people assisted, and their names also appear.

At the beginning of the project, volunteers prepare the wall for the paint and mosaic applications.
Westside Pioneer photo

Midway through, painters work on the wall in different places.
Westside Pioneer photo

       “We had a really good group of people,” Rattenborg said. “We ended up with a crew of neighborhood kids who were staying in a house across from the park, along with other volunteers from the Westside community and beyond. Having the paint and mosaic together in the mural allowed us to engage younger kids and adults who enjoyed painting, and parents and others who weren't as comfortable with paint could learn mosaic techniques.”
       The design was coordinated with City Parks. “When I went and talked to city officials about working in the Old Colorado City area, they suggested that we stick to pretty traditional subject matter and mentioned that the area really likes historical murals,” Rattenborg said. “We saw the space by the creek and it just seemed natural to do something related to the native plant and animal species that spend time in the area - not exactly historical but certainly traditional. The specific idea of shifting from light to dark and different climates came from brainstorming as a community group on the first day. We knew we had to do something that would have flexibility for younger participants, but enough formal beauty to please passersby. We got a ton of positive feedback from folks using the trail.”
       Vermijo Park is off 26th Street, just north of Highway 24. The Midland Trail parallels Fountain Creek through the park.

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