Colorado AHEC (COAHEC) envisions a series of health-themed murals painted by local artists. These murals will communicate health messages in culturally resonant ways to communities throughout Colorado. By commissioning local artists to create informative and beautiful artwork on large structures such as on the sides of buildings, silos, barns, or on free-standing walls built for this purpose, we believe that we will be able to enhance the existing community health efforts utilizing authentic community engagement. (See definition of “authentic community engagement” in the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Office of Health Equity guide to Authentic Community Engagement to Advance Equity.)
The dovetailing between art and medicine is well established and respected among medical communities as well as social communities. It speaks to traditions of healing that are embedded deeply in unique cultures and helps western medicine and cultural healing to not only co-exist but become one. Historically, artists of various cultures have expressed health-related topics in traditional mural work. Yet, there exists only a small body of research on the efficacy of health-related murals created locally and attending to culture in improving health. There is, however, more research that supports the use of billboards for community health messages that motivate behavior change. To this end, COAHEC believes that locally sourced and culturally relevant murals are an effective medium to develop community engagement with emerging health care issues. The goal is to have murals created by the hands and the imagination of artists reflecting their own community values in images with the purpose of evoking an emotional connection within the community. Murals also have the potential to be valued as a public asset, as opposed to the perceived nuisance of billboards. Moreover, murals are more permanent fixtures in contrast to the temporary and commercial nature of billboards.
About the Mural:
Frank Garza is creating this mural for the new Library Library and Innovation Center (LINC) the newest library in the High Plains Library District. You can learn more about this new facility and even see time lapse pictures of its construction here: https://www.mylibrary.us/linc/
Article from the Greeley Tribune regarding the opening and views of LINC as of March 1, 2023 Link to article: https://www.greeleytribune.com/2023/03/04/crews-nearing-finish-of-renovated-library-innovation-center-in-downtown-greeley/
About the Artist:Loveland based artist, Frank Garza, has been creating public art installations in Colorado since 1999. Specializing in architecturally integrated pieces, he strives to make each project unique. Frank uses several mediums including wood, steel, aluminum, porcelain, glass, polycarbonate, fabric, integrated LED lighting and clay. His works convey community, cultural, and historical themes. After more than twenty years in public art, Garza has a wealth of experience collaborating with city planners, architects, builders, engineers, construction crews. and community leaders. His municipal projects are on display throughout the front range including city buildings in Denver, Thornton, Louisville, Greeley, Evans. Currently Frank is creating a monumental bronze sculpture for the city of Fort Collins.
For more info on Frank visit:
About the Mural:
This is the first mural of the Colorado AHEC MURALS Project.
It is located on the office of the San Luis Valley AHEC (SLV AHEC). To learn more about SLV AHEC visit their website: http://www.slvahec.org/.
About the Artist:Bianca Maestas graduated Colorado College with a BA in Studio Arts and has lived as a working artist in Denver, Colorado for the past twenty years. Her first exhibition was at the San Luis Museum and Cultural Center at the age of three.
News About This Mural
Valley Courrier article: "Healing images speak a language people of the valley understand"