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Trinidad Youth Mural Program Paints Rich History, Plans Future

In 2021, the Trinidad Youth Mural Program was founded with the intent to provide opportunities for local artistic and creative youth. The Program's students lead, design, and initiate artworks that beautify the town of Trinidad, including the design and creation of a mural on a 600 sq ft public wall in Downtown Trinidad on the corner of Elm and Linden.

The inaugural mural group consists of four high school sophomores who are invested in making their hometown reflect their passion for art, public works, and collaborative spirit: Grace Baca, Elise Wright, Kami Furia, and Madison Abeyta. The Program is co-lead by a college student Rylee Baca and Trinidad State's visual arts professor, Ily Reiling.

The group chose to represent Trinidad's strong history of prehistoric creatures in the form of dinosaurs. These creatures may be long gone, but their fossils, tracks, and history are shared within the unique landscape that surrounds Trinidad.

As the Colorado state dinosaur, the stegosaurus (bottom, named Kale) was chosen to represent Colorado. His bones are blended with the iconic beauty of Colorado; mountains, water, and grasslands, along with the Neolithic native ancestors who sheltered in alcoves and created our famous petroglyphs. The mosasaurus (middle, named Steven) was chosen to represent the Trinidad area, as his remains were famously found here. He is blended with the nature of his cretaceous environment when our over-mile-high land was under a sea. The T-Rex (top, named Bonnie) was chosen as an icon of prehistoric creatures, a connection for all ages and demographics. Her profile is combined with our volcanic activity during the paleocene epoch and the swampy forests of the neogene period, which gives our area its coal.

The Youth Mural Program is currently working on finishing the first and major phase on the public mural on the corner of Elm and Linden Ave. In the second phase, the group will add a poem from a local writer to the mural, as well as add information about the mural, the artists, and a donor list next to the mural on a separate wall.

Trinidad Youth Mural Program Requests Scholarship Funds

In order to support this group in their future goals as researchers, innovators, and community leaders, the Trinidad Youth Mural Program is asking the community to contribute scholarship funds for these students to use toward their pursuit of higher education at Trinidad State College. Many businesses and individuals have already contributed much-needed donations and supplies.

The 2021 Trinidad Youth Mural Program group. Their goal is focused on creating a more beautiful and dynamic Trinidad.

The scholarshops can be used at Trinidad State College within the next 5 years, either before or after the studen graduates from high school. If the student doesn't use the scholarship fund within 5 years of this date, it will go to a future mural student. The Trinidad Mural Program is projected to run one student-led mural per summer. The TSJC Educational Foundation will collect and manage the funds received. In addition, the Foundation will provide matching scholarship funds up to $1,250. Any money donated will be a non-profit contribution and therefore a tax write-off. The Trinidad Educational Foundation will provide you with this tax information once the funds have been deposited.

How to Donate

There are multiple ways to donate to the scholarship fund.

1. Visit Colorado Gives and click on the Donate Now button.

2. If you would rather write a check, please make it payable to the "TSJC Education Foundation" and write "Trinidad Youth Mural Program" on the memo line. You can drop off or send this check to:

TSJC Educational Foundation

600 Prospect Street

Trinidad, CO 81082

If you would like to be included on our public "donor list" next to the mural, please email Ily S. Reiling to provide information about what name/business/label by which you wish to be presented. You will also be thanked publicly via the group's Facebook page and the Southern Colorado Arts and Literary Magazine Website "Bricks and Bones," which will both house our mural program information.


Ily S. Reiling

Associate Professor: Visual Art Department

Trinidad State College

c: 303-359-2579


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