About the Eastern Plains
We are the rural Eastern Plains, we are here because of Colorado’s agricultural and pioneering heritage. Because of our landscape, geography and economic policies we were once thriving towns, now blighted through the brain drain of the population moving into larger cities. Our communities are families who live a life of skills and trades inherited through generations, who are struggling to survive, yet resilient, self-reliant and supportive to neighbors, persevering through limited resources and lack of services. Many families have lived here for generations, but as many factors converge, they are fighting to preserve their way of life.
Eastern Colorado communities are built around agriculture. According to OEDIT the top industries in Colorado’s Central Plains Region are food/agriculture and transportation. The region's culture is summarized with phrases like – toughness, a can-do attitude with ingenious creativity, an established sense of identity, persistence, and respect. It is these traits we seek to honor in “Paint the Plains.”
The mission of Paint the Plains is to paint giant-sized 40’ murals onto grain bins along the I-70 corridor in Eastern Colorado. Starting in 2020, with an end goal of 2025 to complete all 15 identified locations to the State line. To expose those driving through our Counties to life/what is happening where they are driving through, therefore bridging the urban/rural divide.
Murals build visual and emotional bridges to all who see them, creating awareness and discussion in every onlooker. The murals will expose and educate through the images depicted, showcasing cultural integrity, communal meaning and evoke an emotional experience. These murals inspire hope in our communities. We will show our suicidal population they are valued, necessary and supported. These murals will encourage visitors/tourism to our forgotton towns, further creating awareness through experiencing each location.
We have deep ties to Eastern Colorado. Our chosen canvases are agriculturally based and very visible. Grain bins/elevators are the lighthouses of each small rural town, everyone sees them and everyone drives past them. The grain bins, typically located near the centers of the community are the vessels that hold the entire year's work for many area commodity producers.
Some Girls and a Mural has partnered with the Colorado Prairie Arts and Music Council (CPAM) to bring this mission to fruition. We will weave the story of our rural life and challenges across the grain bins and elevators of the Eastern Plains regions of Colorado. CPAM has recently applied for the Arts in Society Grant to help fund this project. Final grant selection and award pending.
Flagler Cooperative Association has joined in to support this mission, by granting the use of their grain bins as the canvases for these murals. https://www.flaglercoop.com/
Our work on this project embodies the spirit of the Plains.
We seek to educate and promote a different opinion of our demographic despite the current trend. We want to see urban areas embrace rural areas of Colorado, understanding that we are equally important as individual human beings and participants in the State’s economic ecosystem. We want to see children educated through arts about where their food comes from, learning that generations of valuable and worthwhile people have worked this land and produced so they can eat safe and healthy food.
We want to provoke conversion between urban and rural residents about Colorado produced food, the importance of agriculture and the value of the Plains in our State. Through exposure and education, we begin to bridge the gap of inequality, building a common ground of understanding and respect.
This artwork depicts our communities and what is happening within them. In 2018, when Some Girls and a Mural painted “Heart of Harvest,” it was truly exciting to see how the local community rallied around the concept of public art displays being put on agricultural facilities. Because the story we are seeking to tell is the story of all of those living out in Eastern Colorado it is something that every man, woman, and child will feel connected to. From the financially struggling third-generation farmer who lost his crop this year to the families living in the blighted towns where the grain bins are located, to the upcoming generation pressured to move to the cities for work rather than working and inheriting the family farm and feeding Colorado.
Some Girls and a Mural
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#painttheplains in the news:
Rural Colorado Gets New Life as "Some Girls and a Mural" Paint the Plains
Three Women Are on a Mission to Paint Every Grain Elevator on Colorado's Eastern Plains