This Manitou Springs mural was painted on the North side of the Crystal Wizard Gift Shop in 1999 by Mike Beenenega. The theme was chosen by the owners to reflect the nature of the items sold in their shop. However, since they already had a mural of a wizard on the south wall and to be sensitive to a nearby resident, they chose a subdued nature theme.
The trees in the mural mirror trees then nearby to the shop. The Elves are “Tommyknocker” elves from the legends brought by immigrant Welch miners to the area during the gold mining days in Teller County. According to legend these elves would knock on the walls of tunnels to warn the miners of impending collapses but would also sometimes mischievously “borrow” the miner’s equipment. One of the Elves holds a crock of Tommyknocker Ale. A flying saucer, included at the owner’s request, hovers behind the upper tree limbs at the top left-center of the mural. (Source: conversation with owners)
130 Canon Ave., Manitou Springs, CO, 80829
Medium type: Paint (acrylic, oil, etc.)
Date created: 1999