The Town of Windsor’s first community art piece is in progress. The Windsor Arts Commission selected local artist Chris Bates as the first-ever commissioned community artist to create a mural for the town. The mural is located on the west side of the 408 Exchange restaurant building along 408 Main St.
Bates specializes in large-scale murals and finely detailed pen and ink drawings. As a Fort Collins, Colorado native, Bates has completed more than 40 murals along the front range in Northern Colorado. With vibrant colors, abstract shapes, and bold outlines, Bates tells a story.
“Public art becomes a destination place for the community. It’s not just a painting on the wall it becomes a landmark,” said Bates. “It helps define the culture and the feeling of a place.”
In partnership with the Windsor Arts Commission, Bates selected three major themes that contribute to the community’s history: bison, the railroad, and sugar beets. Bison are a representation of Windsor’s prehistoric past. Before European settlers came to the area, the Bison provided seasonal hunting for Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other indigenous tribes which were the area’s first inhabitants. The railroad is tied to Windsor’s history and was instrumental in the early growth of the town in the 1880s. For the first half of the 20th century, sugar beets were the economical backbone of the town and one of the largest local farmland industries. The completed mural will highlight these themes while also depicting smaller events in Windsor’s history.
“We are so excited to have our first official piece of community art in the works. It has been such a pleasure to work with both the 408 Exchange and Chris Bates to create a piece of art that represents the history and culture of Windsor. It has been a dream working with such great people in our community to bring this to life,” said Arts Commission Chair Carrie Nutt. “Our hope is that the people of Windsor appreciate the mural and the story it tells and that it sparks excitement for more art to come.”
Visitors can observe the artist in action as he paints the 40-foot-wide wall. Work is underway and the artist expects to complete the mural in October with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Details on the ribbon cutting are still to be determined.
For more information about the Town of Windsor Arts Commission, visit windsorgov.com/1316/Arts-Commission. To view art from local artists, events or exhibits, visitrecreationliveshere.com/190/Public-Art.
In June 2021, Windsor’s Town Board adopted a public arts ordinance, paving the way for the creation of a new community Arts Commission. The Windsor Arts Commission consists of seven members who oversee Windsor’s Community Art Program including the selection of artists, artwork and art installation and placement in Windsor.