COLORADO SPRINGS — As the Colorado Springs community heals from the Club Q shooting, a local artist is sharing a message of strength and support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Paes 164 is a local artist and tattooist who spray painted a big, colorful mural at the intersection of Colorado Ave. and Chestnut Street near downtown Colorado Springs. The mural says “Club Q Strong,” and under the message are the names of the five victims who lost their lives that night.
“Those murals, people can see them, go back to them, take pictures, and bring their friends. It really does bring the community together some,” said Paes 164.
When it’s needed most, the mural is bringing the Colorado Springs community together.
“So when you have something this tragic happen, I thought we could step it up and put the mural up to show support,” said Paes 164. “From what I can tell, the majority of the city is also devastated by what happened and it's just all sad. These are our neighbors and friends that this happened to.”
The Club Q Strong mural is located on the building of the Ultra Flat Black Gallery. It’s a gallery and bar that Paes 164 and his friend own, just west of i25 in old Colorado City.
He says it was the right canvas for this message of love and support, and it was a mural that took him about a day to complete, and nearly 30 cans of spray paint.
“We had to show love to the rainbow, so I went to the store and bought every rainbow color I could and we put it on the wall,” said Paes 164.
In a time of darkness, he wanted to bring some light and positive, colorful messages to the community. Some of the messages on the mural say “love over hate,” “the city hurts,” and “love is love.”
“And then different quotes within the names, showing more support for the community, and then of course using the actual Club Q logo,” said Paes 164.
He added, while his art won't change what happened, he knows the healing power that art can have especially after a tragedy like the Club Q shooting.
“Waking up and seeing that, a mass shooting in our town, like what’s going on? It’s a super sad situation and the mural is not going to solve any problems or nothing,” said Paes 164. “It’ll shine some light on the fact that they got support, and this is not how our town should be. So that's pretty much what the mural is about for us."
Paes 164 is also known for his mural outside of the Colorado Springs Police Department headquarters. He spray painted that in June of this year, and said he enjoys giving back to the community through his artwork.
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