By Mekialaya White

DENVER (CBS4) — A pair of artists proudly unveiled their new mural on Saturday morning to a captivated crowd. They are using their art to bring awareness to National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.

“Our hearts are overjoyed,” Chloé Duplessis told CBS4’s Mekialaya White. Her partner in the project, Valerie Rose, translated alongside her in American Sign Language.

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(credit: CBS)

The two artists with Denver ties couldn’t imagine a better time to debut their creation. They know the struggles of navigating disability first-hand. Duplessis is legally blind, and Rose is half-deaf.

Their mural, now on display, is called “Holding Hope.”

“We have work to do for marginalized communities, but we can do it, and we’re holding out for that,” said Duplessis.

The artists’ journey to complete the mural has spanned about two months.

“It’s been extraordinary. From the first day when we were sharing our intentions for the mural people were like, ‘That blesses me. Thank you.’ Or ‘I have a loved one who navigates disability, who says, thank you for doing that.’”

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Duplessis says the visibility for their community is crucial.

(credit: CBS)

“Often times, being a person with a disability, you feel invisible. People will overlook you. You’ll go to spend time with family and friends and basic things will not be available. It’s not special treatment to ask for accessibility… often times persons with a disability are considered an afterthought.”

So, these artists are determined to normalize inclusivity.

“That’s something that the pandemic taught us, that we all have the capacity to make small adjustments for good,” added Duplessis.

The mural, located in the EDENS Alley behind Denver Central Market on Larimer Street, will be up all year.

“But don’t wait till this time next year, make a family trip of it,” Duplessis urged. “Come on down to this beautiful historic neighborhood and witness a little of history.”

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LINK: RiNo Mural Program

Mekialaya White