Artist repairs downtown Steamboat mural after graffiti vandalism |

Artist repairs downtown Steamboat mural after graffiti vandalism

Artist Jeff Roth repairs a mural Thursday he painted in 2016 as a piece of public art for the Steamboat Springs community to enjoy. The mural was heavily damaged early last week with graffiti.
Matt Stensland

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Artist Jeff Roth was not about to let graffiti destroy a piece of public art that he created in 2016 on the back of a downtown grocery store.

The former Steamboat Springs resident was in town last weekend to visit family, and after seeing the damage in person, Roth decided to extend his visit to repair the damage.

“Figured, while I’m here, why not make it better?” Jeff Roth said Thursday while he worked on the 130-foot mural on the Natural Grocers building in downtown Steamboat.

It is thought the mural was damaged on the night of July 15 or the morning of July 16. It appeared someone had used a stencil to paint 42 maniacal-looking faces across the mural.

How to help

Call: Steamboat police at 970-879-1144 or Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226

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Text: NABM followed by the tip to 274637

Similar graffiti nearby included the words “sorry, I was bored.”

Police are still tracking down leads and hoping to secure video surveillance footage from at least two cameras in the alley.

Roth said people have been coming through the alley all week to express their gratitude and support.

“The community has kind of apologized for whoever did this,” Roth said.

The Steamboat Springs Arts Council commissioned the mural and has encouraged the creation of more than a dozen others downtown.

Arts Council Executive Director Kim Keith was at Sherwin Williams on Friday afternoon picking up a product that will protect the mural from ultra-violet rays as well as any future graffiti.

The Natural Grocers mural originally cost about $7,000 to create, and it will cost an estimated $3,500 to $4,000 to repair.

The Arts Council used grant money dedicated for public art to pay for the repairs, but Keith said members of the community also offered to help.

“We fiercely want to pursue whoever did this damage,” Keith said. “You need to send a message. You’re not going to get away with this here.”

People with any information about the vandalism can call police at 970-879-1144, remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226 or text NABM followed by the tip to 274637.

Existing murals

• “Howie” by Chula Beauregard (Howelsen Ice Arena)
• “The Scream” by Steamboat Middle School students (West Lincoln Park bathroom)
• “Seasons in Steamboat” by Young at Art Creativity Camp Students (West Lincoln Park bathroom)
• “Western Town” by Chula Beauregard (Stockbridge playground)
• “The Emerald Garden” by Chula Beauregard (Yampa River Botanic Park)
• “Steamboat, circa 1910” by Chula Beauregard (Sasak building, along the Yampa River Core Trail)
• “Ski and Bike” by Chula Beauregard (Ski and Bike Kare)
• “Respect the Yampa” by Chula Beauregard (Back Door Sports)
• “Starry Night, Cafe Terrace at Night” by Dona Steele (Deja vu Boutique stairs)
• “Our Place, Our home” by Chula Beauregard (Strawberry Park Elementary School)
• “Gordon Campbell” by Chula Beauregard (Old Cook Chevrolet building along the Yampa River Core Trail)
• “Wings” by Jeff Roth (Kali’s Boutique)
• “Yampa River Flow” by Jeff Roth (Natural Grocers)
• “Mule Deer” by Bobby Magee Lopez (Steamboat Meat and Seafood)
• “Not titled” by Fernando Maldonado, Sierra Fallon and Katie Moore (Steamboat Smokehouse)
• “In Memory of Salvador” by Fernando Maldonado (Old Town Pub)
• “Not titled” by Fernando Maldonado (Mambo Italiano)
• “Not titled” by Fernando Maldonado (inside former Townies location)
Unknown title by Julia Dordoni (Freshies)
• “America the Beautiful” by Bobby Magee Lopez (VFW)

Planned murals

• “The Second Falls at Fish Creek” by Lance Whitner (Pine Moon Gallery)
• “Yampa is Wild” by Jill Bergman (downtown Ambulance Barn)
• “Western Heritage” (location and artist TBD)

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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