Basecamp - Steamboat Springs, Colorado - CODAworx

Basecamp – Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Submitted by Andrew Brentan

Client: May Riegler Properties

Location: Steamboat Springs, CO, United States

Completion date: 2023

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team

Art Consultant - Project Manager

Andrew Brentan

Field Trip Art Advisory

Art Consultant - Principle Curator

Danni Simon

Field Trip Art Advisory

Developer - Project Manager

Gaby Riegler

May Riegler Properties

Developer - Founder & Principalipal

Kevin Riegler

May Riegler


Lindee Zimmer


Paying homage to the spirit of the Yampa Valley, this ~1600 sq/ft exterior mural by Lindee Zimmer can’t be missed as one drives into Steamboat Springs, CO.

Our client, May Riegler Properties, was the developer on Basecamp – affordable lofts that reflect Steamboat’s active outdoor lifestyle.
Lindee’s design incorporates abstract nods to Steamboat landmarks including the Yampa River, Fish Creek Falls, and the Yampa Curse, which is that those who venture to the Yampa Valley will never leave or if they do, will one day return. The face was based on one of Lindee’s friends whose spirit, according to Lindee, captures everything that Basecamp wishes to evoke. Lindee titled the piece, “We Are All Sacred Bodies of Water”.


Our challenge was to do a mural that captured the ethos of Steamboat and the outdoor enthusiasts that would call Basecamp home. And our clients weren't afraid to get a little funky.

Just as important as what they did want, was what they didn't want, which was a more classic postcard-style mural, typical in a lot of Colorado mountain towns showing a river, some landmarks, and some local flora and fauna. They wanted something that Steamboat hadn't seen. Something that spoke to the "new school" resident of Steamboat, while also paying respect to the "old school" outdoorsmen and ranchers who have seen the town transform over the last 20 years.

Lindee's design hit on all of our client's desires - a mural that calls to the residents living in the building, while also offering a colorful, warm pop of beauty to the west side of town for all to enjoy.


It only took two rounds of design before we got approval on the design. Originally the mural wall was to be painted on corrugated metal, but we advocated for a change to stucco, which would not only make painting the mural easier, but also make the mural design/details easier to see. Credit to May Riegler for making that adjustment specifically to accommodate the mural.

The intention was for Lindee to use a lift to access the entire wall, but upon completion of construction it became clear that the boom would not be able to reach half of the wall. An amazing amount of scaffolding was constructed to allow Lindee to reach the rest of the wall and while she had worked on scaffolding before, it made painting much more slow going and challenging (and scary!) as she couldn't quickly back up to get a perspective on her work. We're still in awe that she was able to paint half of that mural on scaffolding.

It was Lindee's largest mural to-date. May Riegler was thrilled with the final result and the feedback amongst those living in Steamboat has been glowing.

Additional Information

When the design was submitted for permits we got a little pushback from a local group that was concerned that Lindee's design looked "too Native American" - that it was a white woman (Lindee) painting a Native American (actually Japanese American). While we understood their intentions came from a good place - sympathetic to Indigenous peoples, in our response we communicated the following: 1. The person depicted is an actual person who gave consent for the mural - she is Japanese American and was chosen for a number of reasons, one of which is that she is a mix of races and cultures (Japanese father, caucasian mother who grew up in Colorado). In that sense, she was intended to be a face that could be anyone/everyone. 2. We believe concerns about offending someone because they might infer cultural appropriation can be antithetical to showcasing meaningful artwork. Are only Native Americans allowed to paint Native Americans? Should Lindee then only paint white women so as not to offend anyone? And if she painted a white woman, the same group might say, "she looks a little too white". If we can't paint people that might not look like us for fear of offending someone, then we're just feeding the problem of dividing us instead of celebrating the beauty of diversity.