MONTE VISTA — Just in time for the annual Ski-Hi Stampede in Monte Vista, a mural has been completed on a wall of the Fassett building parking lot, in downtown Monte Vista. This year marks 100 years of the Ski-Hi Stampede and the mural is a tribute to the annual event.
The inspiration for the mural came from a 1929 Stampede poster. The mural depicts a rider in a rodeo, complete with a bucking bronc horse, wearing a large cowboy hat, and holding a lasso rope, like he is getting ready to rope animals at the rodeo.
The mural has Monte Vista’s name draped across the middle and states in large letters “Home of the Ski-Hi Stampede,” complete with “EST 1919” underneath the Stampede letters, and “Colorado’s oldest Pro Rodeo.”
This is the second mural that has been painted in Monte Vista by Del Norte artist Jamie Brodie. Brodie was excited about the painting. He also painted the mural on the side of the Monte Vista Elks Lodge.
“It feels good to paint another one of these and be a part of this fine community,” Brodie said. “I am excited that I was able to do this just on the heels of the 100th anniversary of the Stampede rodeo. I’ll definitely be attending the rodeo and can’t wait to check it all out this year.”
Brodie said that this mural took him about three weeks to complete, and there is already talk of him doing a third mural behind one of the bigger buildings in downtown Monte Vista.
“The next one will be the biggest one yet and I am very excited to be asked to do this again real soon,” Brodie said.
Brodie is originally from Texas and moved to Del Norte because of his regular full-time job. He does paintings as a secondary job and hobby.
The idea behind the murals in town is a beautification project that began with Bernadette Hagendorf. Hagendorf was first a part of a sponsored artisan bicycle rack that was placed at the US Post Office on Washington Street in Monte Vista.
After seeing some of Brodie’s paintings, Hagendorf then had the idea to move from sponsoring the bicycle rack to sponsoring a mural painting that would also help beautify the town, by utilizing some of Monte Vista’s buildings.
“These buildings are truly a part of our history for generations to come. We are responsible for preserving them,” she said.
Hagendorf and her husband, Bill, sponsored the mural that was painted on the side of the Elks building. The mural has a lake painted on it, complete with a mountain view, which is the Spanish translation of “Monte Vista.” The mural also has a large set of Sandhill crane wings painted on it to represent the annual Crane Festival in Monte Vista.
People have been seen taking pictures in front of the large pair of wings as they stroll through town.
Hagendorf was so pleased with the outcome of the mural that she began looking for a way to have another one sponsored.
“My husband and I sponsored the first one, but the second one we reached out to the Ski-Hi Stampede Committee, and they were all for it,” she said.
Hagendorf said she and Danielle Deforest to a Ski-Hi Committee meeting to speak with Karla Willshau, who is the president of the committee.
“Danielle was so helpful to me, we met with the Ski-Hi Stampede Committee, presented our idea, and they were all for helping us,” Hagendorf said. “Karla Willshau is just amazing, she took this to the committee and the committee paid for this one. I can’t thank Karla enough for her help. Danielle also helped us design the mural, based off a stampede poster from back in 1929. Of Course, Jamie Brodie is the one that painted the mural and added his own flavor to it, with a banner in the middle. We gave him the creative freedom to add this, and it was just really a collaborative effort, and we are so excited with the turn out of the mural. We couldn’t be happier that this is here just in time for our 100th annual Ski-Hi Stampede.”
Willshau said she didn't hesitate when she was asked about the sponsorship for the Stampede mural.
"Our committee is just thrilled with the mural. It is a beautiful addition to our community,” Willshau said.
Hagendorf said that she was working on an idea for a third mural that Brodie will also paint.
“The next mural is being planned and will be painted on the back of the Rain Brews building. This one will be the biggest one by far, and up very high on the building,” Hagendorf said. “Our current idea is something to commemorate agriculture. We are excited that Carol Riggenbach is allowing us to do this, and it is definitely in the works and will happen soon. The beautification project will continue.”
The Ski-Hi Stampede is set for July 21-24.