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Frankie the Falcon to greet kids as they walk to Trevista Elementary School

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

All photos unless otherwise credited by Evan Semòn Photography.

This past Saturday, our Denver Community Active Living Coalition (CALC) worked with WalkDenver and community members to paint Frankie the Falcon in the intersection at 41st and Navajo, outside of Trevista Elementary School. This is no small feat - literally! Frankie's wingspan measures approximately 60 feet across. Community members were joined by Mayor Michael Hancock, Councilman Espinoza, and Principal Jesus Rodriguez in the morning to help paint Frankie’s face.

Last June, the neighborhoods of Athmar Park, Barnum, and Sunnyside each won a grant for a neighborhood-designed walkability project by collecting the most data about sidewalks and intersections as part of the WALKscope Data Challenge. Sunnyside community members decided on an intersection mural at their neighborhood school. Through community input, we found neighborhood residents wanted to see the mural represent their unique identity and history. Three design concepts were drafted and then voted on by students at Trevista and the surrounding community, with Frankie the Falcon coming out as a clear winner.

Frankie the Falcon has been the school's official mascot only a few years, but has a long-term connection to the community. Principal Jesus Rodriguez and school staff encourage their kids to be like Frankie the Falcon - to soar and excel. The color blue represents excellence (corresponding to Denver Public School's School Performance Framework). Frankie will now greet Trevista students as they walk to and from the school and through their neighborhood.

To create the mural, volunteers chalked a grid to help keep Frankie symmetrical. We used a string compass to make the circles of his body and head, and then a combination of stencils and free-hand to draw the wings and patterns. Once the design was chalked, volunteers began painting in the lines! Thanks to Denverite, you can see this amazing timelapse video of the installation and all our incredible volunteers! Also check out Denver’s 9News for a great story on the event.

Frankie will remain in the intersection up to 2 years, promoting neighborhood identity and a sense of place, as well as providing a visual cue to drivers that children may be crossing the street on their way to or from school. This semi-permanent mural was installed through a new Community Streets Program managed by Denver Public Works. Special thanks to Todd Skougor from Little Raven Pictures for capturing some excellent drone footage of Frankie from above! See below for more pictures from the day.

Above: Volunteers pose with Mayor Michael Hancock and city council member Rafael Espinoza. Photo Credit: Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Above: Flyover Drone Footage of Frankie the Falcon. Credit: Little Raven Pictures

Update: ArtScene has an awesome video on the mural! (start at 7:22 to see Frankie)

Above: ArtScene piece on Frankie the Falcon with statements from Mayor Hancock, Councilman Espinoza, and Principal Rodriguez, and community members. Credit: Denver8

If you missed out on painting this past weekend, there are still plenty of slots available for the third neighborhood art project, an intersection mural outside of Valverde Elementary, chosen by Athmar Park community members. We will be at the intersection of South Tejon & Nevada on Sunday, May 21, to paint a locally-designed mural that incorporates themes chosen by area residents. The final design highlights the area's cultural diversity, numerous green spaces and views, and agricultural heritage.

Above: Mural Design for Valverde Elementary, to be installed Sunday, May 21st. Credit: Michele Brown, La Mano Art

All photos unless otherwise credited by Evan Semòn Photography.

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