July 22, 2021

Leah Horn

DENVER, CO—The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is excited to announce that local artist Adri Norris will paint a mural or series of murals highlighting the Women’s Suffrage movement in a highly trafficked site in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood. Norris will be painting the mural(s) near the Montbello Student Campus, a place that is central to many who reside and work in the district.

WESTAF commissioned the creation of the mural related to Women’s Suffrage to mark the centennial of the decades-long journey, resulting in the landmark legislation that granted women the right to vote. The project was made possible through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Federal Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission.

As someone with a lifelong curiosity surrounding women in history, Norris said, “I’m excited to work on this mural for WESTAF to showcase the importance of women’s voting rights, not just on a national scale, but locally as well. I look forward to working with librarians, historians, and community members to bring this project to fruition.” Norris has lived in Denver since 2005 after serving in the Marines. While her family immigrated to the United States when she was five, Norris was born in Barbados.

Norris has shared her work and passion with youth inside and outside of Denver. As a teaching artist with Think 360 Arts, Norris worked with Youth Seen, an organization focused on helping LGBTQ+ youth and families of color feel seen and heard. Using her paintings as educational tools to teach students of all ages about women in history and the power of diversity, Norris aims to keep the stories of these prolific women alive.

The project’s primary goals include engaging the underrepresented artists and collaborators that bring contemporary perspectives into the public realm. This project will serve as a platform for educational outreach by achieving a visually engaging design and including the local creative economy in the development, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of the project.

The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West. WESTAF assists state arts agencies, arts organizations, and artists in their quest to serve diverse audiences, enrich the lives of local communities, and provide access to the arts and arts education for all. Through innovative programming, advocacy, research, technology, and grantmaking, WESTAF encourages the creative advancement and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances.