Mural symbolizing resilience gifted to Craig by area youth, nonprofits | CraigDailyPress.com

Mural symbolizing resilience gifted to Craig by area youth, nonprofits

The young citizens of Craig
Sasha Nelson

— A bugling elk, soaring bird of prey, a mountain range and trees carved with inspiring words are images all rooted in the idea of rising above life’s challenges and bring a new splash of color in a mural painted downtown this week.

“This was designed by our own youth, and to see it come to fruition is really amazing. It says this is what Craig and Moffat County mean to me, this is who we are, and we're proud to live here,” said Karli Bockelman, Grand Futures Prevention CoalitionGrand Futures Prevention Coalition Moffat County program director. Moffat County program director. Grand Futures Prevention Coalition Moffat County program director.

The mural located on the south side of 576 Yampa Ave. took about 30 hours to complete, including the design and four days of painting. It is the first of six murals that the state-based drug abuse prevention program Rise Above ColoradoRise Above Colorado will empower Colorado communities to make. will empower Colorado communities to make. Rise Above Colorado will empower Colorado communities to make.

The design process began April 1 during the Inspire to Unite youth leadership summit for middle and high school students held by Boys & Girls Club of CraigBoys & Girls Club of Craig, Grand Futures and, Grand Futures and Colorado Northwestern Community College Colorado Northwestern Community College with support from Rise Above Colorado. with support from Rise Above Colorado. Boys & Girls Club of Craig, Grand Futures and Colorado Northwestern Community College with support from Rise Above Colorado.

“Rise Above Colorado held a workshop, discussed the creation process and provided examples of past murals. We used an art project that had them visually focus on areas of strength in the community and pulling inspiration from that,” said Jonathan Judge, Rise Above Colorado program director.

The ideas collected during the summit were presented to muralist Bimmer Torres. As a teen he landed in jail for graffiti before turning his life around and legitimizing his art.

“This is one of the most complex and biggest that we’ve done. I’ve been getting so much good feedback,” Torres said. “The people here are really nice. The kids love it. That’s what it’s about, that the community embraces the artwork.”

One of the mural’s biggest fans is building and Main Street Emporium owner Tammy Burton.

“I feel honored that they chose this building. It’s a great addition to the downtown,” Burton said.

The mural is an expression of how the youth of the community feel about the place they call home.

“I think the strength of the summit and this mural is that youth voices matter, they have a lot to contribute. Finding ways to connect their voices to the future of Craig and Moffat County, that will really enact positive change for the benefit of all,” Judge said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.