Get ready for the arty party of the year: Artopia 2017, Westword's annual celebration of art, culture and fashion, will return on Saturday, February 25. And this round, we're bringing style off the streets and into City Hall, where we'll commemorate four of Denver's most iconic strips — Larimer, Santa Fe, Federal and Colfax — as well as the city's best street artists.
Larimer is one of Denver's oldest streets — and now one of its most colorful, thanks to the street artists who've been creating murals from the banks of Cherry Creek up past the Ballpark neighborhood to RiNo...and beyond. One of the best, Pat Milbery, will be featured at Artopia 2017 (and has already been a Westword cover boy).
Milbery is, above all, a creative collaborator, as well known for the large-scale murals he's created with some of the most prominent graffiti/street artists in the world as he is for the playful photo shoots and video projects he's done as a pro snowboarder.
Pat Milbery working on one of his "Love This City" murals.
His vivid street-art collaborations adorn the walls of dozens of boutiques, breweries, bars and other businesses in Denver and across the country, and he's helped curate and create major art-installation projects for brands including Visit Denver, the City of Denver, RiNo Art District, Ford Motor Company, X Games, Budweiser, Zumiez, Loveland Ski Area, Wahoo Fish Tacos, Academy 360 School, the University of Denver and Pabst Blue Ribbon. He's shared snowboard-contest podiums with the likes of Shaun White and Travis Rice, and the Snowboard Camp Tour he founded to make freestyle riding more accessible for kids is now entering its second decade. He's also the co-owner of So-Gnar, an umbrella collective responsible for the Snowboard Camp Tour, the So-Gnar streetwear and apparel line that he helps design, and the Shredded Beats hip-hop concert series he promotes.
Another Pat Milbery collaboration, from RiNo Music Fest.
Milbery is equally proud of his Minnesota roots and his Colorado-transplant status. He splits his time between Denver, Golden and wherever his van full of snowboard gear and spray-paint cans takes him. His dog, Tora, a spirited West Highland terrier, follows him just about everywhere.
You can see more of Milbery's work at patmillberry.com, as well as @patmilbery and @sognarofficial. And at Artopia, of course, where curator Jolt of Guerilla Garden will fill the Larimer room not only with his pieces, but with work by Casey Kawaguchi, Scot LeFavor, Chris Haven, Patrick Kane McGregor, Jeromie Lawrence Dorrance, Pher01/Mpek36, Tuke and Dunn the Signtologist.
In the Colfax/Cue Room, you'll find photos by Billy "Ghost Lenz" Riesing, along with work by 303 Boards; Thick as Thieves Tattoo with Ryan Yates, Elizabeth Rybecky, Kevin Miller, Mike Pinto, Samantha Kuhn and Jymi Shores; Chris Bailey with his North American Skateboard Express; and Save the Signs with Corky Scholl, Brendan Lenahan, Mark Stein, Bill Guerriero and Joshua Hicks. Nine of Denver's top designers will also show their street smarts in the Whiteout fashion show, always an Artopia highlight.
Pat Milbery at work.
Tickets are now on sale at westwordartopia.com. Early entry general admission tickets are $30; general admission tickets are $25. But use your street smarts to get the best deal of all: $100 VIP tickets snag you guaranteed seating by the fashion runway, a reception featuring food from Troy Guard's restaurants and an open bar, a goodie bag and all the art you can handle.
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See you at Artopia 2017!