A large mural depicting Johnny Hurley — the ‘Good Samaritan’ who intervened in the June 21 Olde Town Arvada shooting and likely prevented a larger loss of life — was painted on the back wall …
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A large mural depicting Johnny Hurley — the ‘Good Samaritan’ who intervened in the June 21 Olde Town Arvada shooting and likely prevented a larger loss of life — was painted on the back wall of the Rocky Mountain Commissary; Hurley’s former place of employment.
The mural was painted by Denver-based artist Grow Love — also a founder of the Babe Walls Mural Festival which was held in Arvada in July — after the Commissary’s owner reached out through a mutual connection. The mural was completed over the course of three days between Sept. 20 and Sept. 23.
MORE: Hurley remembered by friends for his voice and heart
Grow Love said they spoke to Hurley’s friends and family members and watched a YouTube documentary on the shooting to better connect with the mural’s subject.
“I don’t choose a project unless I feel like I can connect with it and that there is some deeper meaning that can be had and some healing that can be felt in the community in which I’m creating the artwork,” said Love. “I started thinking of ideas and doing research at the end of July and ended up changing it to the very end because people were coming up to me and explaining their relationships with him and what was important. So, it was an evolving, organic process.”
The completed mural depicts three scenes; Hurley staring off into the distance with letters floating around him meant to signify his writing and passion for writing letters, Hurley at an event in Denver he organized to spread peace and hope with a sign that reads `Everything is OK’ and Hurley drumming, in a nod to his love of music.
Grow Love said they hope their mural can bring healing to Hurley’s loved ones and the local community.
“It’s huge to be able to do this,” said Love. “Doing this for a community and a family that have been devastated by what happened, I think it can bring healing, and that’s the goal. What he did, what he brought to the world will always be remembered.”
Hurley worked in the Commissary, a shared kitchen which serves many local catering companies, for All Love Catering between 2018 and 2020. When All Love was forced to closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hurley kept going to the commissary, helping out and taking odd jobs when he could.
Madalyn Bisque works for Heats Desire Catering and said she interacted with Hurley often at the Commissary.
“He was a sweet, kind, funny person,” said Bisque. “He worked with All Love and then started working different jobs around here when they closed. He’s a big hero and we love him.”
MORE: Hurley memorial event at Arvada Center
Myra Molina is a baker for Traditions Baking said Hurley often helped to interpret things from Spanish to English for workers at the Commissary.
“He was a very nice, strong young man. Super honest,” said Molina. “He was helping here to maintain things, helping translate for people in Spanish.”
Molina added that she felt Hurley tried to see the good of people and worked towards building a stronger community.
“He was so warm, and he took a lot of care to make change in the world,” said Molina. “Not just politics and to make people have a conscience, but to have more heart to understand the dynamics of people and build better for the community.”
Bisque said she felt the mural outside the Commissary was an apt way to remember Hurley.
“It’s stunning, it’s absolutely beautiful. I can’t think of a better way to honor (Hurley),” said Bisque. “It’s the perfect way to honor his memory.”
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