The Crestone Eagle • August, 2021

Celebrating Crestone and its artists through murals: An interview with muralist Sam Bavelock

by Zaylah Pearson-Good 

Impressive murals have been popping up across Crestone, as more and more business owners seek to bring color and character to their spaces. Artists, such as Focus Smith (Elephant Cloud Market mural) and Beatris Burgoin (Crestone Brewery mural), are some of the most well-known mural contributions. Most recently, Sam     Bavelock, a talented young creative new to Crestone, has added two new pieces to Crestone’s mural scene. Since arriving to town last March, Sam has put her painting skills to use, starting first with a mural at the Crestone Casitas and then behind Buck’s Pizza. With muralists continuing to flow into town, Crestone itself is becoming what Sam describes as an “open-air, free-access art gallery.” She is excited to be a part of a growing collective of artists that bring life and color to our small town. 

Sam first contributed to the town’s “gallery” last April with a mural commissioned by Crestone Casitas. Vibrant golds, greens, and blues pop off the wall, depicting enormous sunflowers and a magnetic dragonfly. As a self-taught muralist, Sam admits that this project really grew her as an artist. Bringing color and character to a massive blank wall can be intimidating for any young artist, especially when your work is being publically displayed. It was the advice from a client that really set her in the direction for long-term success: she pointed out the transient nature of Crestone and how important it is to show up and have integrity around what you say you will do if you want to make an actual impact. This advice motivated Sam even more to embody a resilient     work ethic alongside her creative endeavors. Following through with this first mural project built within her the confidence to continue her amazing work. 

Working with vibrant colors and nature themes, Sam’s next mural project quickly followed at Buck’s Pizza. Completed in June, the west-facing side of the building is decked with elaborate detail. The beloved Sangre de Cristo Mountains in red are backdrop to a brightly colored buck, beneath a pizza moon painted by Melia Mariko. In recognition of the many talented painters in Crestone, three artists were originally going to collaborate on the project. In the end, however, Sam completed the piece herself, save for the beautiful addition by Mariko. Even then, Sam reflects that the enthusiasm, support, and suggestions from many friends and community members really tied the piece together. As an artist and new community member, Sam has felt really embraced by Crestone. Despite it being a rural place, she sees it as a place with endless potential for self-growth and success. 

“This town has a palpable magic that allows people to play and see their dreams through . . . There is opportunity here if you show up with intention” reminds Sam. There are a lot of new faces in town, many are young, creative folk. Having overcome her own challenges as a budding artist, Sam would like to see a place for artists to work, create, and support one another. Potential ideas include an artists’ cooperative or shared studio that would be available to up-and-coming and already established Crestone artists. 

Sam has demonstrated what a young creative can accomplish with the right attitude and dedication. Serving the Crestone community with her artwork has given her a means to share her passion for painting and connect with the people of Crestone. Keep your eye out for Sam’s work next time you are in town! 

If you are interested in seeing more of Sam’s art, follow her on Instagram: @artemismoonrises. Interested in commissioning Sam for an interior or exterior piece? Contact Sam.Bavelock@gmail.com.