Local artist David Gonzales knows a little something about advertising. Take a look at any of the window paintings around town, especially around the holidays, and most of them were probably painted by him.
Now, Gonzales wants to promote more than Christmas specials. He's working on fundraising for local fire stations, and those across the West, that are now suffering the monetary costs of the fires that have swept the region. He's created this painting below, which will be donated to the Manitou Springs Fire Department, as well as the rights of the image, which will be free to any fire station that wishes to use it, be it for fundraising or otherwise.
The story began when CK Comics and Collectibles owner Mike Barsotti, sought a "heroic image of a firefighter" for his Manitou shop. Gonzales and Barsotti initially decided to paint the image on CK's windows, but decided for something a bit more permanent, and went for a canvas they would eventually donate to the fire department.
As of today, the canvas is mounted in front of CK's windows, and will be presented to the MSFD in October. People interested in prints can purchase them at Gonzales' studio at 419 Manitou Ave. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go back to the fire department.
Gonzales has a strong tie to the MSFD, not only as a Manitou citizen — who evacuated in the middle of the night with one dog, 17 chickens, three ducks and a few personal belongings — but as someone who depended on the department's help in the days before the Waldo Canyon Fire.
As he writes in his press release:
This was not the first time our family's lives had been touched by the Manitou Springs Fire Dept. In the 6 month period leading up to the Waldo Canyon Fire, my family and I experienced two fires on our street (which has no fire hydrants). One fire burned our shed down and another, just a few days before the Waldo Canon fire, was started by someone throwing fireworks in dry brush. The fire department arrived immediately to put the fires out. Several years earlier, I was involved in a chainsaw accident.The Manitou Springs Fire Dept. was there at the scene and helped save my life. When I returned home from my 2 week hospital stay, the fire department brought 6 bags of groceries and gift cards from several local businesses and individuals.