Artists Navigating Disability Collaborate to Create Mural in RiNo Art District
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Mural in RiNo Art District
Week-long installation will honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month
DENVER (Sept. 30, 2021) – Valerie Rose and Chloé Duplessis, two artists navigating disability, have been commissioned by RiNo Art District and EDENS to create a mural in the RiNo Art District this October in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Part of the 2021 RiNo Mural Program, the mural will be created in the EDENS Alley behind Denver Central Market on Larimer Street from Oct. 2-9, 2021.
The mural will be unveiled on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. The community is also invited to see the mural in progress and learn more about the artists’ mission on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. and noon, and on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“I'm honored to collaborate with Valerie in the creation of a mural that will center and elevate the voices of persons navigating disability,” said Duplessis. “It’s been a privilege to partner with RiNo Art District and EDENS, two organizations that have a demonstrated commitment to inclusion, community and the arts.”
Rose is a half-Deaf painter, muralist and activist who has lived in Colorado and now resides in Northern California. She is self-taught and all of her work is hand-drawn. As a half-Deaf CODA (child of Deaf adults), she feels most connected to drawing, painting and using her hands. She draws inspiration from her life and surroundings. Having survived a brain hemorrhage, she often reflects on this near-death experience within her personal artwork. As an activist, she uses her art to support causes that matter most to her.
Duplessis is a legally blind culture bearer and digital collage artist who lives in the Denver metro area. She creates images that illuminate the forgotten, elevate the unknown and address the present. She seeks to offer space to all who are willing to grow while working to erode the social constructs that oppress People of Color. With over 20 years of experience in intercultural engagement, arts administration and advocacy, she has traveled to nine countries and 21 states in support of her work. She earned a bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies from The University of New Orleans and studied art and history at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.
Both artists are committed to creating art that amplifies the importance of accessibility and Disability rights and honors the contributions of workers navigating disability.
“Valerie and Chloé are two incredible artists who are inspiring a new generation of creatives and activists,” said Tom Kiler, managing director at EDENS. “We’re proud to partner with RiNo Art District to provide space for them to spark meaningful conversations around accessibility and inclusivity in Denver and beyond.”
To support the ongoing mission of the artists, donations can be made to Access Gallery, a nonprofit organization that opens doors to creative, educational and economic opportunities for artists navigating disability, and Anchor Center for Blind Children, which provides early education and intervention services for children birth to five years old with visual impairments or blindness.
Artists selected for the 2021 RiNo Mural Program are paid by the RiNo Art District as part of the district’s effort to cultivate creative spaces and bring people together through creativity and culture. Businesses in the art district can donate their walls for the monthly installations and are encouraged to contribute financially to the artists involved in the murals’ creation.
For more information about the RiNo Mural Program, visit www.rinoartdistrict.org/art/rino-mural-program.
To learn more about EDENS’ community-centered retail approach, visit www.edens.com.
About RiNo Art District
RiNo Art District is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to fostering a welcoming, creative community where a diversity of artists, residents and businesses thrive. The district is inclusive of five historical neighborhoods: Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points and Cole. Over the last decade, RiNo Art District has helped form both a Business Improvement District (BID) and General Improvement District (GID) and a community arts educational nonprofit (Keep RiNo Wild) to support the local community. Together, the RiNo Art District family of organizations fund and support the Denver community through advocacy, infrastructure improvements, artist support, community programming, business support, and events. To learn more, please visit rinoartdistrict.org and follow on Facebook and Instagram at @rinoartdistrict and Twitter at @rinoart.
EDENS is a retail real estate owner, operator, and developer of a nationally leading portfolio of 110 places. Our purpose is to enrich community through human engagement. We know that when people come together, they feel a part of something bigger than themselves and prosperity follows— economically, socially, culturally, and soulfully. EDENS has 250 employees across offices in key markets including Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Houston, and Denver. For additional information about the company and its retail real estate portfolio, visit www.edens.com or follow @WeAreEDENS.