Since 1999, the annual Art on the Streets program in Colorado Springs “celebrates the power of art in public places while turning the streets of Downtown Colorado Springs into a yearlong art gallery.”
One of the entries in 2020 was this stark and shocking mural, an illustration that art does not always leave one feeling warm and fuzzy. Artist Gregg Deal, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute, whom some of you might remember as the co-curator of the exhibit “Disinformation” at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, used his tall canvas on a downtown building to raise awareness about the very real but very ignored subject of “Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women” in America.
The following quote by the artist accompanies his mural:
Much of my art deals with Indigenous issues, protest, and representation, occupying space in ways that are simultaneously beautiful, unexpected, and difficult. This mural raises questions about the inherent invisibility of Indigenous People, specifically referencing the abnormally high rate at which Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit individuals go missing or are murdered. This is an issue in El Paso County and around the nation. With this portrait of my eldest daughter, I hope to move the viewer and open up dialogue within the local community.
Native women and girls are disproportionately affected by sex-trafficking, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other heinous crimes which all too often do not get prosecuted and remain unsolved. The heart-rending list of victims and atrocities remains one of the darkest stains in the history of both Canada and the United States. Native children in the US have had to mouth the words “with liberty and justice for all” countless times during the Pledge of Allegiance for a country who only granted them citizenship in 1924 and who kept tearing apart their families and communities well into the 1950s by sending children away to boarding schools.
May we live to see the day when Justice will indeed be blind and do right by all those women and girls who have been wronged or even lost their lives.
Fur further reading, click on the following link: https://www.nativewomenswilderness.org/mmiw