The last section of the Arkansas River levee in Pueblo will be resurfaced this winter. Here, the old surface containing the mural is being taken down, while the new surface is clean. Planning for new art is underway. – Photo by Shanna Lewis
Huge paintings once lined most of the 2.8-mile long levee that helps protect downtown Pueblo from flooding along the Arkansas River. But they were destroyed during repair work that started on the levee five years ago.
Artists began painting on the levee in the 1970s. Back then it was considered vandalism, and the first mural went up in the dark.
Eventually the Pueblo Conservancy District, which oversees the levee, decided not to fight the muralists and asked local artist and teacher Cynthia Ramu to help coordinate the artwork that ultimately claimed the Guinness record for the world’s largest outdoor mural.
Now, artists are gearing up to paint new murals on the levee’s blank canvas.