Art with Impact: A Tribute to Brighton’s Inspiring Women

Women of Inspiration | Frank Garza | Brighton Cultural Arts Commission

By Robin Kring and Lindy Olson

Please join BCAC’s dedication ceremony for Women of Inspiration, an uplifting and motivating mural by Loveland-based artist Frank Garza, June 21 st from 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm, at 36 S. Main St. in downtown Brighton. Click here for more details.

BRIGHTON, CO (June 13, 2024) — You may have noticed the most recent addition to Brighton’s public art displays: a beautiful mural on the north-facing exterior wall of the H&R Block building at 66 S. Main St. in downtown Brighton. The mural, entitled Women of Inspiration, was commissioned by the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission (BCAC) and completed by Loveland-based artist Frank Garza.

Garza is well known throughout Colorado for his deeply meaningful artwork promoting community spirit and celebrating history and culture. Garza’s Women of Inspiration mural celebrates the diverse array of women who shaped Brighton, Colorado, including:

  • The Strength & Vigor of Brighton’s Women of Industry — Hardworking factory workers at the core of Brighton’s early prospering industries and the inspiring “ahead of her time” business leaders and entrepreneurs. 
  • The “Sugar Sweet” Impact of Brighton’s Women — Arduous sugar-beet field laborers and lab workers who helped make beet sugar Colorado’s most profitable industry, impacted a profitable local economy, and enhanced the community with an enriching multicultural heritage.
  • The Pioneering Spirit of Brighton’s Women — Homesteaders and growers who helped transform the dry plains into the fertile farmlands of the “Garden Spot of Northern Colorado.” The pioneering spirit also included educational shapers, governmental leaders, and advocacy leaders.
  • The Enriching Cultural Heritage of Brighton’s Women — Women’s groups, clubs, and special events that have enriched the community with multi-cultural heritages through the sharing of traditions, food, crafts, music, dance, and more.
  • The Artistic Heart of Brighton’s Women — Women who have expressed their talents and supported growth in arts and culture, including: the visual arts, performing arts (theatrical, musical, and dance), language arts (writers and poets), and natural (and local) history.
  • The Charitable Benevolence of Brighton’s Women — Women who joined together in various faith-based and other organizations to assist the poor and disadvantaged, inspiring social reform along the way.
  • The Championing Spirit of Brighton’s Women — Athletes and program-and-resource boosters opening the way for competitive play, youth and adult recreational opportunities, and community spirit building.

In the mural’s foreground, girls and young women of the present sit immersed in books, each page a gateway to stories of Brighton’s many “women of inspiration,” shown in the background. The women grace each side of the Community Christmas Tree, where a young girl adds to the ornaments, handmade by the community, each representing the many facets of Brighton’s culture and personality.

The ornaments are inspired by actual ornaments that once decorated the tree displayed over several years at Brighton City Hall (such as the straw folk-art ornament representing the first schoolhouse built on the Aichelman Farm), reimagined through Garza’s distinct style of strong symbolism. The artist’s use of symbolism and realism intrigues throughout the mural.

Garza said he was surprised by the level of enthusiasm and participation of BCAC members throughout the project, especially compared to previous projects where he’s been on his own from the research phase through completion.

“With this particular project, I had a lot of suggestions and guidance with my research of potential subjects from the beginning and even during the project as it developed and evolved,” Garza remarked. “I found this to be a benefit to the creative concept and a true collaborative effort.”

Garza used a special fabric called polytab, which allowed him to paint the mural on fabric panels in his Loveland studio and later attach them permanently to the H&R Block building’s exterior wall in Brighton. He chose the north-facing wall because the mural will be less susceptible to sun damage there.

A project of the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission (BCAC), the Women of Inspiration mural was made possible with funding from the City of Brighton Creative Community (Lodging Tax) grants.

To discover the deeper historical meaning behind Women of Inspiration, please click here to download and read these fascinating historical insights, uncovered by Robin Kring, The Brighton History Detective. You can also follow the Brighton History Detective on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrightonHistoryDetective

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