The Myron Stratton Home has a new downtown presence to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Local artist and muralist Kim Polomka recently finished a 28-by-12-foot mural on a west-facing wall at Cascade Avenue and Bijou Street. It took Polomka, working alone, more than a month to complete, from mid-June to July 24.
The mural is one way to bring the anniversary celebration to the city, said Mark Turk, executive director of the Myron Stratton Home.
"We just thought it would complement the other beautiful art that exists downtown, and be a good fit in us being able to tell our story through the mural."
The organization provides housing, support services and grants to those who are less fortunate, Turk said.
Winfield Scott Stratton arrived in Colorado Springs in the 1870s, opened a carpentry and general contracting business and searched for gold and silver in the mountains. In 1891, he hit the mother lode on the south slope of Pikes Peak.
After his death, he left instructions that almost all of his fortune was to be used to establish and maintain a home for poor people. He wanted it named after his father, Myron. The Myron Stratton Home opened in 1913.
Stratton's story is phenomenal, said Polomka, whose sculpture, "Tree," was one of 11 works accepted into this year's Art on the Streets, a juried downtown sculpture exhibit.
"I like to get involved with nonprofits, and work on things that will benefit the city," he said.
Polomka, a native of Australia, moved to the Springs in 2000. Since then, his mural projects have included the U.S. Olympic Committee mural that features hometown hero Henry Cejudo, a gold medalist, on the roof of a downtown building; the Mozart@250 anniversary mural at Cascade and Pikes Peak avenues, which won the Partnership for Community Design Award in 2007; and the Giddings Loft Building mural on Tejon Street, which won the Partnership for Community Design Award in 2009.
The Stratton mural is his eighth in the Springs.
"We saw some of his (Polomka's) work," Turk said, "and we felt very good about his quality and professionalism."
Local advertising agency Vladimir Jones designed the mural with the help of the Myron Stratton folks.
"You see a gentleman holding the hands of two children. Children are always dependent, and people that need to be taken care of. The mural illustrates that," Turk said.
Jennifer Mulson can be reached at 636-0270.