Arts and Culture

Jerry Jaramillo's Sunnyside Mural, "Primavera," Is Gone But Not Forgotten

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Tamburello and Pottle are both Denver natives who have been instrumental in changing the face of some blocks and neighborhoods on the north side. Some of those projects have included the development or redevelopment of hip spots like Linger and Root Down, both in Lower Highland, as well as the purchase of the old Lehrer's greenhouse, which got nonprofit urban farm GrowHaus off the ground. But in an area where multimillion-dollar condos are popping up everywhere, the effect of such development is a growing concern for many longtime residents.

"We were thoughtful about this; we really weighed out the community impact of removing the mural over what kind of impact it could have in getting a tenant in the location," says Tamburello. And although he, Gonzales and the others discussed the building's future and the mural at length, Tamburello regrets the fact that he didn't involve Jaramillo in the process. Ultimately, "Primavera" had to go, but Tamburello stresses that it was not without a lot of thought and planning.

And although it is gone, Jaramillo's work won't be forgotten. At Gonzales's request, Tamburello photographed "Primavera" and a companion mural, "Mother Earth," which is still on the side of another Servicios building across Tejon. He hopes to hang those photos at the new Servicios location, at 3131 West 14th Avenue -- a spot close to the Denver Public Library's Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzales branch (named after Rudy's influential Chicano activist father), which is slated to open in 2015. He'd also like to one day hire Jaramillo to paint another mural inside the new Servicios home.

Tamburello adds that he is a fan of both public art and public discourse and had no intention of destroying anything. "We want to be an asset to the community; we want whatever we do there to be of further service to the community," he says. "We make tough decisions. Was it the right one to remove that mural? I don't know for sure. I know that we didn't just buy the building and start tearing it up."

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies

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