A unique postcard popped up in Old Town Lafayette and we chatted with the artists behind the wall.
Four unique artists came together to capture nine diverse snapshots of our city in a new mural installation located at the Klose Training and Consulting building in Old Town Lafayette. (Photo provided by Sarah Spencer)
Look west on South Public Road, and you’ll find an unpaved, unassuming alleyway that holds Lafayette’s newest public art installation – “Greetings from Lafayette.”
The image is reminiscent of a vintage postcard, featuring Lafayette’s nine letters that all hold a special snapshot of our community’s diversity, history, and beloved landmarks. Set against a backdrop of purple mountains majesty and bison roaming the great plains, this piece celebrates the past, present, and future of our vibrant downtown district.
“What we’re doing is making an impact on how people feel about Lafayette,” said Tif Choate, one of the four muralists who contributed to the project that was made possible through Alley Art Amazin’, a grassroots program started by local artist Marissa Perry Saints and resident John Weise.
Like many of the murals that grace the alleyways of our downtown, “Greetings from Lafayette” is funded through donations and grants from community members who believe in creating a sense of place, belonging and inclusiveness in Lafayette. And that’s exactly the goal of this piece.
“I was thinking about the young kids that walk around these streets and I wanted to see them represented,” said Marissa Perry Saints, creator of Alley Art Amazin’ and one of the contributing muralists. A true collaboration of talent, Saints and Choate were also joined by local artists Sarah Spencer and Sarah Ortegon to bring this piece to life. The four artists have been painting together since 2009 and have worked on several projects throughout our downtown.
Pictured L to R are muralists Sarah Spencer, Tif Choate, Marissa Saints, and Sarah Ortegon who have worked on several public art projects throughout Old Town Lafayette since 2009. (Photo provided by Sarah Spencer)
Before starting this community mural, the team took to the streets and interviewed Lafayette locals about what they would like to see represented. After hearing from residents and business owners and consulting with Guenter Klose, owner of Klose Training & Consulting where the mural resides, it was time to get to work.
Knowing each letter needed to represent a significant piece of our city, the four artists settled on featuring an eclectic mix of the following:
L – Waneka Lake Park, a recreational and wildlife refuge for the community where residents retreat in all seasons.
A – Hot Air Balloons, an iconic sight to behold among the Lafayette skyline and a favorite activity in the Front Range of Colorado.
F – Bicyclist to represent the over 20 miles of trails and acres of open space that allow our community to embrace the outdoors and enjoy the splendor of the Front Range.
A – Coal mining cart to pay homage to Lafayette’s early days of pioneering and historical legacy in Colorado.
Y – Palisade Peaches to honor the beloved Lafayette Peach Festival, an annual event that gathers food vendors, crafters, antique dealers, artists, and more in Old Town Lafayette.
E – Folklorico dancers to celebrate the rich history and influence of Mexican-American residents in Lafayette.
T – Beer tap to recognize Lafayette’s vibrant craft beer scene and growing number of local breweries.
T – Festival Plaza, a gathering place for summer story times, concerts, picnics, splash pads, and art festivals.
E – Lafayette Skatepark, a destination founded by the Youth Advisory Council for students to safely gather and build lasting relationships.
In addition to the vintage postcard lettering, this mural features bison roaming the plains of the Rocky Mountains to showcase Lafayette’s landscape before it was a vibrant, bustling town. (Photo provided by Sarah Spencer)
If you think painting with friends sounds like a great job, just imagine when community members also join the fun. Spencer revealed that throughout the mural’s creation, many residents and visitors would stop by to share their enthusiasm, check-in on the project, and even help splash some color on the wall.
On a very special day, students from the local elementary school could be heard chanting, “Lafayette! Lafayette! Lafayette!” as they strolled past the mural on South Public Road.
What’s next for Lafayette’s renegade group of artists?
“I want to see Lafayette painted from tip to top. We walk around and stare at walls just looking for things to be painted,” said Sarah Spencer.
“We’ve all been waiting for this wall to come to fruition,” says contributing artist, Tif Choate, who works as a professional painter in Lafayette creating canvas art and pet portraits that can be seen at our upcoming Art Night Out in Old Town Lafayette.
(Photo provided by Sarah Spencer)
This mural was funded by the Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority (LURA) and Klose Training and Consulting.
If you’re interested in a wander-ful day through Old Town Lafayette’s public art scene, check out this handy guide and make sure to stop by “Greetings from Lafayette” at 307 S Public Road, Lafayette, CO.