A new mural commissioned by the City of Loveland is underway at the Loveland Recycling Center, with one twist: it’s being painted by the community of Loveland.
The design was proposed by Florida-based muralists Jhonattan and Samantha Arango, featuring a number of land and sea animals that are affected by the litter in their environment and hopefully treated by the recycling that takes place at the center.
The framework for the mural, which incorporates geometric shapes that Jhonattan Arango says characterizes the couple’s style, is essentially a huge paint-by-numbers project, with each shape bearing a letter and each letter corresponding to a color. Site visitors of all ages can simply claim a letter, grab a pot of the corresponding paint, and fill in the shapes.
“Anyone can do it, anyone,” Arango said. “From 2 years old to 80 years old, if you can hold a paintbrush, you can do it. There’s something really beautiful about co-creating a mural, having something that everyone is working on together. And historically speaking, with some of these older community murals, people remember the exact triangle that they painted. It’s kind of mental real estate. You have to keep it.
The original idea for the project came from public works staff, according to Loveland Public Arts Manager Suzanne Janssen, who was at the site of the mural on Saturday. Workers at an entrance kiosk have been fixing a blank concrete barrier all day and finally asked about a mural that could fill the empty space.
Also in attendance was Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh, who helped direct the painting and helped two young children contribute to the mural. Marsh, who liaises with the city’s visual arts commission, explained what the mural means.
“Our recycling center is so amazing, the amount of people in Loveland who are recycling, and now when they arrive they will see this beautiful mural,” she said. “And I think the symbolism is being aware that everything you put, especially in the water, has a global effect. So the more you recycle, the better off everyone is.
The public participation portion of the creation of the mural will continue on Sundays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and does not require a reservation. A dedication of the mural and the expected completion date are scheduled for July 22.