Photos by David Ricketts
When Beto Conejo attended the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) grassroots activism retreat in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, he knew that he needed to paint this landscape for the community to enjoy on city streets. So Beto painted the Protect Wild Utah mural which stands brightly above the Love N.T. Café (former Der Weinerschnitzel) parking lot at 805 W. North Temple. The purpose of the mural is to empower residents to reflect on their connection to the natural world, the benefits these lands give to our community and cultural health, and to claim Utah’s redrock landscapes as part of their heritage and cultural roots. The mural completion was celebrated in October 2021, where 50 community members came to take photos with the mural, enjoy champurrado, and listen to remarks from Beto Conejo, Mayra Cedano of Comunidades Unidas, Dr. Armando Solórzano of the University of Utah, and Olivia Juarez of SUWA.