Around 20 community members took part in a mural project led by Poudre Libraries and artist Carla Gamboa during Hispanic / Latinx Heritage Month. The vibrant, colorful mural, titled “From LATAM to FoCo,” is located outside the Northside Aztlan Community Center on a City-owned storage container.
Gamboa describes the mural as representing “the heart coming out of the open land of Latin America.” Her design depicts “the culture of those who cross the border and their feelings about building a new community in a country they now call home.”
On a Friday afternoon in October, Gamboa, along with her daughter Marina, and fellow artists Diana Castro and Károl de Reuda, outlined the art design on two sides of the container. The following day, nearly 20 community members spent time painting the artwork and filling in the design. Even players from the nearby basketball courts took a turn at painting.
Visitors to the mural will immediately notice the colorful landscapes and images representing the culture of more than 20 Latin American countries. Look closely and you’ll see the quetzal of Mexico and Guatemala, colorful houses of the Caribbean and the Colonies, the monarch butterfly that represents the path of discovery from Canada to Mexico, the yellow butterflies to represent the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the piñata, and much more.
“This mural shows the love, the culture, and the gratitude,” says Gamboa. “We show the mountains, the forest, the rivers, and the deserts that we have in our hearts, the nostalgic symbols of what we left behind. We honor the cultures and the hearts of those who are meaningful for us.”
Poudre Libraries worked with the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places to identify a prominent location for the mural. The Library will officially gift the artwork to the City and the community. More information about the artist, Carla Gamboa, is available at www. carlagamboa.com.