If it takes a village to create a mural, then a big mural takes a lot of contributions by many members of that village.
On Aug. 12, agencies in Ignacio unveiled "Choose Your Path," a mural designed and painted by youth in Ignacio, with some help from local artists. The mural is on the side of the Ignacio Floral building on Goddard Avenue in downtown Ignacio. Avionne Gomez and Allisianna Baker worked on the design stage of the piece.
They wanted to avoid a mural that said "don't do this - don't do that," Baker explained. "We are told that all the time as youth."
So "Choose Your Path" was selected as the theme, highlighting positive choices.
Student artists who worked on the piece included Victoria Simmons, Morgan Hansen and Veronica Cousens. Tim Murphy, who creates murals in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Phoenix, worked with the students on the concepts, and locals Justin Montgomery and Michael Garcia helped get the ideas on to the "canvasses," which in this case are four panels on the side of the building. They were created at Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center in Ignacio.
Montgomery, who worked on the large tree on the right side of the mural, was pleased how the pieces came together. He hadn't seen all four paintings joined to create the nearly life-sized representation.
"This mural represents what happens when you make your choices," said Pat Senecal of Operation Healthy Communities. "This is what turns out."
Speaking at the unveiling of the mural were Cassandra Sanchez of the Boys and Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, as well as Edward Box III and Mayor Stella Cox of the town of Ignacio. Ignacio High School also was a partner agency on the project.