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Colorado couple creates mural via live dance performance

Body of Work
Posted at 9:00 AM, Jun 04, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — One Colorado couple has combined their passions for dance and painting in order to create a unique mural in downtown Colorado Springs as a part of the 23rd annual Art on the Streets exhibit.

The art featured on the wall of an alley near 3 West Bijou Street (right next to the bar, Shame, and Regret), depicts the outlines and movement of dancers following a routine designed by Katie Wiegman and then captured and put to paint by her partner Markus Puskar.

"It's really special because I got to do it with my partner so that's a beautiful thing, to collaborate in life and in art," commented Katie.

"There's always this kind of dream of being able to be in love with someone and make art with them," added Markus.

The collaboration, a work that involved adapting and combining both of their creative mediums, started as an experiment during the past year that lived only in the studio; with Markus following the movements of Katie and working to capture movement in mural form.

"A funny thing happens when you put artists together in an apartment and tell them quarantine," stated Claire Swinford, executive director of Downtown Ventures, "they start climbing the walls and that's exactly what happened with Markus and Katie, except she was dancing and Markus was running around behind her, painting her silhouette as it was cast on the wall."

When these two creatives initially decided to share their combined efforts in a public space, the plan was for the piece to be a solo act; however, a back injury forced the couple to adapt their plans and call for help, a call answered by a team from the Colorado Springs local Ormao Dance Company.

"A lot of the narrative that went into this piece was what it was like to be vulnerable, what it was like to fall and then have the support of other people," said Katie.

A look into "Body of Work" a new Colorado Springs mural

The creation of the mural started as a live performance, dancers silhouetted on the walls by colored lights held and worked by Katie Williams, a puppeteer from Denver.

"It's a lot of finding those moments to bring out their silhouette and then holding at the right time so that Markus can get those drawings in," said Katie.

At nine different points during the performance, dancers stopped and held poses, allowing Markus to create outlines and lay the groundwork for the mural.

Following the performance part of the piece, Markus spent the next few days fully finishing out the work of art, adding color and movement to each silhouette, and working to create a piece that conveys movement and connection.

"It was created with bodies actually touching each other which is novel as we all know now," commented Katie, "and with an audience actually viewing that experience so it was created out of connection."

This wall mural is one of 12 new pieces of art situated in downtown Colorado Springs as a part of the 23rd annual Art on the Streets exhibition.

"It is visually about humans moving through life and it was that through its creation process as well," finished Katie.

For more information about Art on the Streets, CLICK HERE.