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When the levee paints

Pueblo artist seeks local help in adding to record-setting mural



Pueblo is a small city with one giant piece of art. From a few illicit tags that graffiti artists painted on the Arkansas River levee 30 years ago, artists have created a mural that officially measures two miles long.

But, asserts Cynthia Ramu, "It's bigger."

Artist, teacher and coordinator of the Pueblo Levee Mural Project Reunion, Ramu says artwork now stretches 3 miles and reaches 65 feet high. But to have its full length recognized and reflected in the world record it has held since 1995 images need to be touched up and gaps filled. To do that, Ramu needs some help.

"We want to reunite a lot of painters that have helped over the last 27 years," she says. "We want to keep the mural alive as it inspires past, future and present painters."

After first reacting negatively to the graffiti that CSU-Pueblo students painted in 1975, the community gradually took to the developing artwork. Since then, recognized artists have contributed numerous themes, including a tribute to Bob Marley by Colorado Springs' Floyd Tunson and a commemoration of women's history by Ramu and a group of young girls at risk.

Ramu is encouraging all past artists, as well as anyone who wants to contribute to the mural, to come to Pueblo for a mid-June painting celebration.

Painters should register by June 10. To novice painters who might be daunted by the mural's size, Ramu says not to worry; she is holding a Levee Painting 101 course on June 15.

Wayne Young

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