In Response to Pandemic, Adams County Brings Art to its Residents

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adams County Parks, Open Space & Cultural Arts Department launched public art projects to bring hope and joy to communities, inspire residents and visitors, and fuel the local economy.

Murals for Hope is a series of five exterior murals along the Clear Creek and South Platte River Trail systems in Adams County. Themes for each installation were inspired by the wildlife and beauty of the parks, trails, and open space properties throughout Adams County. There are also traces of mythological hope throughout the murals, including the Firebird and Thunderbird figures from indigenous folklore.

The Adams County Public Art Program dedicates one half of one percent of every county capital facilities project for public art.

“Adams County is committed to bringing public art into our community,” said County Manager Raymond Gonzales. “Murals for Hope, along with the Adams County Public Art Program funding source, are part of our strategic roadmap for arts and culture in Adams County, outlined in the Artfully Adams Master Plan.”

Adams County commissioned six local artists to install large murals along the trails from July through December 2020.

  • Jay Jaramillo and Jerry Jaramillo - Clear Creek Trail, 64th Avenue Trailhead
  • AJ Davis (Project Street Gold) - Clear Creek Trail, Clear Creek / South Platte Confluence
  • Johanna Gentry - South Platte River Trail, Clear Creek / South Platte Confluence
  • Anthony Garcia (Birdseed Collective) - South Platte River Trail, 120th Street Entrance, Riverdale Regional Park
  • Michael Gadlin - South Platte River Trail, 124th Avenue Underpass, Riverdale Regional Park

“We want everyone to come out and enjoy Murals for Hope and get a little fresh air and inspiration,” said Zoe Ocampo, Adams County Arts & Culture Liaison. “Getting active, staying safe, and seeing some beautiful art on our trail system is an excellent way to feel connected to our community and hopeful for a bright future.”

Video, interviews, and pictures of the murals are available. Click here to access the files.

In addition to Murals for Hope, a series of ten wood carvings were commissioned between 120th  Avenue and Willow Bay along the South Platte River Trail in Riverdale Regional Park. Chainsaw artists include Faye Braaten (aka Chainsaw Mama), Mark Mahoney, Bongo Love, and Matt Ounsworth.