Local nonprofit organization Trees, Water & People (TWP) recruited Native Western artist Isaiah Stewart to highlight Indigenous cultural heritage and stories through a bold and exciting mural at Front Range Village. The artist will begin his work on Friday, June 16, in an effort to call attention to the often-forgotten history and elevate the existence and knowledge systems of the Native American population who continue to be part of our community today. For the next two weeks, visitors to the shopping center can observe him in action in the Front Range Village Courtyard as he paints 16 feet above the ground across an almost 40-foot wall.
The Council Tree is a historic local landmark that holds special significance for the Indigenous community, as it was a place of gathering for many Tribes through the years. The cottonwood tree inspired the name of the Avenue, where the shopping mall is located today. Isaiah’s art piece draws inspiration from his conversations with members of the Indigenous community in Fort Collins (a committee that advised and helped bring this project to life), a visit to the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation herd, as well as his own experience as a Lakota/Mohawk artist.
“The objective of the mural is to strengthen local Indigenous visibility, combat the erasure of Native identity and cultures in Northern Colorado and emphasize the resilience and deep-rooted connection that the Indigenous peoples have with this land,” says James Calabaza, Director of the Indigenous Lands Program at TWP.
This project is made possible by the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund and the Bohemian Fund.
About Trees, Water & People:
About Isaiah Stewart: