Members of The Gathering Place form a community, and within it, connections can be deepened through shared experiences. On November 10, 2018, more people in the community were brought together through mural dedication ceremony. Select artists of The Gathering Place were commissioned to complete a mural under the bridge at I-25 and Broadway in memory of Nicole Boston, Jerome Coronado, Christopher Zamudio, and all of those who have lived in or been lost to homelessness.
Denver City Councilwoman Robin Kniech spearheaded the project and secured funding. A previously blank wall can now serve as a healing place for those that have experienced trauma. Kniech said, “This is a remembrance and a testimony to the healing power of art.” The artwork depicts a butterfly continuing toward the sun and the light of the unknown. The names of those that were killed at that spot, Cowboy, Rome, and Nikki, come together to help form the colorful wings and provide a remembrance of their lives.
VibekeCarstensen, Kylee Wellons, LeeAndra “Lee Lee” Lujan, and Sevilla Stinnett designed and painted the mural with the help of TGP Art Program Manager, Steve Hartbauer. As members of The Gathering Place, they can possibly relate to some of the negative experiences that are often faced alongside poverty. These women were present for creative sessions with Steve, logistics meetings with the family of Rome and Nikki and councilwoman Kniech, painting in the cold, and coming together for the dedication ceremony.
At the ceremony itself, music, poetry, words from the family, and even a message from the artists of The Gathering Place helped to bring members of the community together. Special experiences like this bring people together in an even tighter bond because of the healing moments that are shared with all in attendance.
For more information, see the Westword article “Mural Honors Victims of Broadway Triple Homicide and the Homeless” by Chris Walker at https://www.westword.com/news/after-broadway-triple-homicide-in-denver-mural-under-i-25-honors-victims-10993045