Navajo artists host Community Mural Painting Project
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. —On June 24-25, Community Assistance Teams (CATs) of Flagstaff, an Indigenous focused non-profit service provider for shelterless relatives living in Flagstaff, will be hosting a community painting event to finish their Mobile Outreach Bus.
The event will be led by Diné artists Jesse Yazzie and Jayme Shepard from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Flagstaff Mall.
The public is invited to attend, watch the artist’s work and to help finish the murals under their direction. Individuals or groups interested in Individuals or groups interested in helping to complete the mural should contact CATs for scheduling details or come by the mall during the times indicated. It is completely free to participate.
CATs mission statement is to ‘provide sanctuary, services and compassion to unsheltered relatives living on the streets of Flagstaff whose lives have been upended by personal and historic trauma.’
“Providing a welcoming reception is central to CATs mission and that includes designing a culturally relavent space for those in need of our services” said Wendy White, co-founder of CATs.
With that in mind, Yazzie and Shepard collaborate, design and paint the Indigenous-focused, mural which will soon be seen driving Flagstaff’s city streets.
Yazzie’s personal story of overcoming hurdles weaves perfectly into CATs overall mission, according to the organization.
Yazzie is an emerging artist from Phoenix and draws from childhood experiences, as well as his later struggles with substance abuse and eventual incarceration in Arizona Department of Corrections, to create works of art and provide mentorship for youth to help them avoid the path he walked.
His art can be found all around the Valley, including a recent mural in Roosevelt Row, Phoenix’s walkable arts district.
According to White, this project is “a great opportunity for local youth or those interested in Yazzie's artistry and story to get hands-on mentorship while providing the mobile mural for Flagstaff and surrounding communities.
Yazzie will be painting his and fellow artist Jayme Shepard of Native Ambition Clothing Co, along with help from the community.
The project is made possible by a Flagstaff Beautification in Action Grant and the generosity of the Flagstaff Mall. Community members can reserve spots to participate in the painting project by contacting Community Assistance Teams of Flagstaff (CATs of Flagstaff) on Instagram, Facebook or by visiting https://cats-of-flagstaff.org/ or by email at email@example.com.