The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Lando Norris in Miami. Accident win or the birth of a new star?
May 17, 2024

  On May 5, 2024, an essential event for Formula 1 occurred in Miami. One of the favorites of the world public, the Briton Lando...

Living Her Legacy exhibit honors women of FoCo

Collegian | Samantha Nordstrom
A portrait of Betty Aragon-Mitotes by Rachael Davis on display in the Living Her Legacy exhibit in the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures in Fort Collins March 8.

The “Meet Inspiring Women of Northern Colorado” exhibit has opened just in time for Women’s History Month, showcasing 48 outstanding women and their accomplishments through the organization Living Her Legacy.

Living Her Legacy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that celebrates women and girls by highlighting women tied to Fort Collins and their impact on the community.


The Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, located at 200 W. Mountain Ave. in Fort Collins, began hosting Living Her Legacy March 1 and will continue the showing until May 25.

“I get so much out of seeing the community come together. Seeing the honorees and their families — it’s really quite an emotional experience and just a really unique thing to witness.” –Rachael Davis, artist and Zonta Club member

“We are creating Living Her Legacy to inspire women and girls to discover themselves in the many talents, contributions and achievements of women both past and present in our Fort Collins community,” said Patti Smith, founder and executive director of Living Her Legacy. “We are inspiring girls and women to create their own legacies. We’re recognizing women, inspiring girls.”

In 2013, Smith gained inspiration from a Denver art exhibit that showcased mosaic portraits of 40 men and women who assisted in the foundation of Colorado.

“Later that year, after I got home, I thought, ‘Well, if they can do that in Denver, why can’t we do that in Fort Collins?’” Smith said.

In 2020, the project was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Smith is a registered nurse and has dedicated much of her time to educating women and girls at Front Range Community College and outside programs. She is also a member of the Zonta Club of Fort Collins and participates in projects such as a single mom mentoring program in Fort Collins, the Girl Leaders Program and the Role Model Art Workshop.

As a member of the Zonta Club, Smith reached out to other members, such as member Rachael Davis, who was asked to create individual portraits for the 48 honorees.

Davis is a local artist who completed a Master of Fine Arts degree at Colorado State University and has made artwork for Nine Dot Arts and hotels.

Davis was introduced to Smith’s project in 2013, and the two began discussing plans for the artwork that would highlight the women and their achievements. Davis used linoleum to create contemporary reduction art pieces of the featured women. Eight of the portraits have been completed thus far.


The portraits by Davis will be featured on the south side of Bondi Beach Bar & Grill in Old Town. The art pieces have been shown on a rotating basis with eight up at a time.

“I get so much out of seeing the community come together,” Davis said. “Seeing the honorees and their families, it’s really quite an emotional experience and just a really unique thing to witness.”

Each portrait featured in the exhibit includes a photo with a page of information on their life, challenges and accomplishments. Twenty-two out of the 48 women have connections to Colorado State University, including Professor Temple Grandin and Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes.

Living Her Legacy is holding the exhibit and events at three locations in addition to the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures: The Lyric and the Museum of Art Fort Collins.

Director of Communications and Outreach Leisa Taylor has been involved in developing and sharing information for the exhibit at the Global Village Museum. Smith and Taylor welcomed visitors on the first night and said they were pleased with the turnout.

“What I think is special is that there are women in Fort Collins — both living and now deceased — that have done incredible things for the community,” Taylor said.

The Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures will be hosting an event in relation to the exhibit titled “Impactful Women of Fort Collins.” Smith will be presenting the event 6-7:30 p.m. March 21. Smith, legacy honorees and participants of the educational programs will be speaking.

Reach Cadence Cardona at or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • R

    reeceMar 19, 2024 at 12:14 am