I grew up loving to roller skate. I kind of lost touch with it when I got older but a few years back, I tried out for a roller derby team and did that for a while. But I realized I didn’t like the …
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I grew up loving to roller skate. I kind of lost touch with it when I got older but a few years back, I tried out for a roller derby team and did that for a while. But I realized I didn’t like the violent aspect of it.
I stopped doing it, but I really missed roller skating. I fell into roller skate dancing and started going to several different rinks just before COVID-19 hit. Once the virus started, my boyfriend and I went roller skating outdoors and found some outdoor rinks and basketball courts. We put on music and practiced dance moves.
From architect to artist
I went to school for architecture and got a bachelor’s degree in environmental design and a master’s in architecture from the University of Colorado Boulder.
I loved designing buildings, but I wanted to work in something that would let me work with my hands. I couldn’t sit at a computer all day.
I worked in architecture for seven years — but something was missing.
I met Bobby Lopez, an artist who has done artwork on the 40 West ArtLine, a four-mile walking and biking art experience in Lakewood, and he took me under his wing. He introduced me to the art world, and we’ve been working together ever since.
New murals along the 40 West ArtLine
I’ve been spending most of my time at the Lamar Station Apartments at 1450 Lamar St. near the 40 West ArtLine.
We’re working on new murals on 13 walls on 10 of the 11 buildings at the apartment complex. The project is sponsored by Riverpoint Partners and CentrePoint Properties who invested $100,000 in the new murals. They had put out an invitation to five artists for the project, and I was one of them — mainly because the 40 West Arts District showed them some of the projects I’ve done before. I’ve painted murals along the 40 West ArtLine like an Aztec maze at 1580 Teller St.
The concept of the Lamar Station Apartments project is to paint plants that grow naturally in urban landscapes. Basically, it’s all about connecting the community together though geometry in the background and wild, edible and medicinal plants that can be found around the urban land. A lot of them sprout up in parks like weeds, and they thrive in our environment.
It’s a celebration of our mother Earth and her love for us. They are also an analogy of this beautiful African woman I met who was wearing a gorgeous patterned African print dress. We spoke, and it made me wonder what had to happen to her in her homeland to want to come so far. No matter who we are, where we are, we have all felt like a weed — like we are disposable.
If you have a suggestion for someone to interview for My Name Is... contact Joseph Rios at firstname.lastname@example.org
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