A Native American Artist’s Stunning Protest Mural Wins the “Art on the Streets” Award

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The 66-foot-tall painting depicts the artist’s 14-year-old daughter, her face covered by a handprint that symbolizes missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, on the side of a downtown Colorado Springs building. Painting as an act of protest and education is artist Gregg Deal’s way of calling attention to “a silent epidemic,” he says. And his mural, Take Back the Power, just won the city’s Art on the Streets award.

His daughter helped him paint it; she wanted to help her father give voice to the many who are voiceless. “As a Native person, I get to be up there representing Native people and this epidemic,” she told the Gazette. “I think it’s very important that we get that type of representation.” To create the mural, her father partnered with the Haseya Advocate Program, a nonprofit resource for Native survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. “Any amount of awareness” is essential, says Monycka Snowbird, an advocate with the program. “We’re hoping people see this, google it, and get more background.”

Watch the 5-minute video of the mural’s creation, with inspiring comments from the artist and his daughter. A Recharge shoutout to the Gazette’s visual team, including Katie Klann, for the powerfully produced video.

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