This mural of Native American dancers, on the north wall of 112 Ruxton, was created in 2014 by Adam Labrache, with assistance from Josh Grey, who painted the mountains and sky in the background. The mural depicts dancers celebrating their connection to nature. To the left is a medicine man burning sage, leading the song and prayers of the dance. In the center both women and men are dancing, casting dirt into the air, and celebrating the sacredness of Mother Earth. In the lower right, a young girl sits next to a stream gazing calmly at the beauty surrounding her and celebrating the earth without the need of ceremony. The mural celebrates the multiplicity of nature: young and old, male and female, fire and water, earth and sky.
The mural was designed to appeal to the viewer on many levels. It has large elements that can be viewed by someone driving by and a number of very detailed elements in the center of the mural that can only be appreciated by the patient close-up viewer. Five “creatures” can be seen under the right arm of the singing male including: an elf in the smoke, a bear, female elk, deer and mouse. The remainder of the forest contains: two horses, three deer, three rabbits, an elk, a buffalo, a skunk, a mountain lion, a chipmunk on a branch, a spirit face, a mushroom spirit face and a raven. Also, notice the detail in the dancers as well as the girl sitting by the stream with her basket.
The artist, Adam Labrache, annually participates in the Sundance held by The High – Star Sun Eagle International Foundation for Peace in the Red Valley on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. This particular Sundance allows non-Native Americans to partake since the chief wants all peoples to be there as a symbol of togetherness. Adam found many ways to bring his spiritual practice to the creation of this mural. He began the painting with his own ceremony, burning sage and singing Lakota songs to cleanse the space and honor the practices he was depicting. Then, eight empowering statements were painted on the wall. The statements remain, hidden behind the dancers, as a foundation for the mural. Imagination, inspiration and many sources were utilized in designing this mural. The dancers and elder of the ceremony were referenced from “Ghost Dance” and “Medicine Man of the Cheyenne,” both paintings by Howard Terpning. This mural is still a work in progress as many details are yet to be added. (Source: conversation with the artist)