Who: Local artists Hayley Kirkman, Sarah Sturm, Allie Wolfe, and Dakotah Andreatta. 
What: Local is the Way! mural on the side of Durango Joe’s
When: This project started in August 2017 
How: We had originally planned to work with another local business to paint directly on their wall, but they receded their offer mid-way through planning. Thus, we had to take time to find new businesses who wanted our help. We found Durango Joe’s, and proceeded to go through a couple months of our steering committee approval, City approval for color/size/installation/maintenance, finding sponsorships to cover the cost of materials and pay the artists, and finding a work space for our off-site panels.
Why: I was approached by Local First with the concept to pair local artists with local businesses, and was able to recruit this team who fully supported the mission. Being “local” is something the four of us truly stand for, and we believe it is what makes our town so great. We were happy to create a positive message through our design that celebrated all the wonderful things about Durango, and one that involved community members every step of the way (i.e. through the steering committee, input on words chosen, and volunteer painting).
  • We set up several boxes around town to get our community words, with a big sign that said “Why Do You Love Durango?!”: one at the La Plata Humane Society, one in the Smiley, and one at Fort Lewis College. 
  • The team of artists have devoted a lot of time and energy to this project, and they each bring something unique to the table. Aside from being talented artists, they have contributed a lot of time into public outreach and materials/installation planning.
  • Sarah Sturm and I are freelance graphic designers in town, Allie Wolfe is a comedian and student at FLC, and Dakotah Andreatta splits his time amongst working on the train, Purgatory Resort and doing other murals.
  • We want to see more color and vibrance in Durango with contemporary art; as great as it is that Durango has preserved a historic look, we believe it is important to usher in a new visual mode of communication that reflects the Durangoan lifestyle today.
Durango artists

Local artists (from left to right) hard at work: Dakotah Andreatta, Allie Wolfe, Sarah Sturm, and Hayley Kirkman.

Photo by Jennaye Derge