See the Surreal Murals of 'Duct Work While You Can: They're Doomed!

'Duct Work celebrates the work of 28 artists; this mural was created by Ricks.
'Duct Work celebrates the work of 28 artists; this mural was created by Ricks.
Lindsey Bartlett

One of the reasons that people in this post-postmodern world respond so passionately to outdoor art is its impermanence. It will not be there forever, reminding us of our own fleeting existence. And 'Duct Work, a massive mural project just completed in the viaduct space under I-70 at 46th Avenue and York Street, is definitely doomed: When the I-70 expansion project finally starts, the art will go. In the meantime, it's reinvigorated a unique urban spot in Denver.

"We want to make sure we get the whole viaduct painted eventually, so we're going to have lots of chances for more artists," says project organizer Kendall Peterson of CIG, who worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation as well as Urban Arts Fund chair Mary Valdez and Morgan Hartley of the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative to create this massive urban-art project.

Both Peterson and Valdez have been working on getting local artists bigger and better-paying gigs every year. To find the artists for 'Duct Work, Peterson reached out to Project Colfax curator Yianni Bellis as well as Birdseed Collective's Anthony Garcia, with whom she'd worked on other mural projects on CDOT property. Together they enlisted 28 artists for this cause.

But before the artists could get to work, 'Duct Work organizers cleaned off years of caked-on pigeon-nesting mess, then installed spikes to discourage future pigeon traffic. After that, the artists got to work, creating beautiful art in a space where onlookers can enjoy it. This gritty new urban gallery is a beautiful addition to the local scene. Enjoy it while you can!

Murals by East (left) and Ricks (right) painted for 'Duct Work.
Murals by East (left) and Ricks (right) painted for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Ricks and East

A fresh new mural by Jolt smiles from under the viaducts.
A fresh new mural by Jolt smiles from under the viaducts.
Lindsey Bartlett

Jolt
Artopia curator and northside-born graffiti legend Jolt, aka Guerilla Garden, graced the viaducts with his signature grinning gorilla. 

A mural by LYFR, aka Day in the Lyfe.
A mural by LYFR, aka Day in the Lyfe.
Lindsey Bartlett

LYFR
Day in the Lyfe was invited to paint a panel of the 'Duct Work project. *cue Jaws music*

Artist Jesse Frazier, also known as Faim Worldwide, in front of his mural.
Artist Jesse Frazier, also known as Faim Worldwide, in front of his mural.
Lindsey Bartlett

Jesse Frazier
Jesse Frazier, aka Faim Worldwide, painted one of his most powerful pieces to date at 'Duct Work. It's a commemorative mural inspired by the passing of a friend, whose last words were "Love wins" — which appear on the piece and constitute its title, too. "About three years ago, I lost my friend. Just for trying to be a nice guy," Frazier says. "It's still painful; this has got me thinking about it a lot more.... Earlier in the day that happened, his last Facebook post was roughly, 'When people do you wrong and bad things happen, people lose their way. Just remember that love wins.'"  

Surj works on his mural for 'Duct Work.EXPAND
Surj works on his mural for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Surj
Surj, a local artist currently residing in the suburbs, is working on murals again and revisiting some of his artistic tropes. This piece is titled "Chin Up," and Surj wanted the man in the painting to reflect the strength and perseverance found in this area of Denver: It gets knocked down, but gets back up again. 

See the Surreal Murals of 'Duct Work While You Can: They're Doomed!
Lindsey Bartlett

Koko Bayer

Thomas Scharfenberg, who lives in the area, works on his mural for 'Duct Work.
Thomas Scharfenberg, who lives in the area, works on his mural for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Thomas Scharfenberg
Thomas Scharfenberg wanted to create a mural that centered on organic, fluid shapes and would contrast directly with the sharp lines and boxy architecture seen underneath the viaducts. Gold paint is woven throughout this mural, which hits particularly close to home: Scharfenberg lives only a few blocks away. 

Artist Paige Madden works on her outdoor art installation for 'Duct Work.
Artist Paige Madden works on her outdoor art installation for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Paige Madden
Making old things new again, artist Paige Madden incorporated discarded objects from the neighborhood, some found or labeled as "trash" items on Craigslist. She painted these objects red and blue, then incorporated them into a piece with an anatomically correct heart and a poem written by the artist. Breathing new life into what some consider garbage mirrors the "scraping" and rebuilding this area is undergoing.

Sandra Fettingis works on her geometric mural for 'Duct Work.
Sandra Fettingis works on her geometric mural for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Sandra Fettingis
One of the busiest artists in the city this past summer, Sandra Fettingis took her repeating patterns and spread them over two large viaduct panels in this stylistic piece. She says she wanted to pull the patterns farther apart than usual, taking into account the speed at which cars fly. 

A new mural by Patrick McGregor for 'Duct Work.
A new mural by Patrick McGregor for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Patrick McGregor
Colossal artist Patrick McGregor again employs Boug, his bulldog, in this playful, cheery image. McGregor is constantly painting something new around town; last month he did an enormous Evel Knievel wall for Crush 2016.

Thomas Evans, also known as Detour, with his portrait of singer Tanya Zanib.
Thomas Evans, also known as Detour, with his portrait of singer Tanya Zanib.
Lindsey Bartlett

Thomas Evans
Thomas Evans wove his signature roses around a portrait of Tanya Zanib for 'Duct Work. Evans has been celebrated this season with a new mural for Crush 2016, his photography and archaeological project "They Still Live," and an artist's residency at RedLine. 

A mural by Demi Deherrera for 'Duct Work.
A mural by Demi Deherrera for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Demi Deherrera
Female artists were represented in record numbers at 'Duct Work. Demi Deherrera painted a black-and-white scene titled "My Kingdom, My Bones." 

Yianni Bellis, artist and curator for 'Duct Work, paints his mural for the project.
Yianni Bellis, artist and curator for 'Duct Work, paints his mural for the project.
Lindsey Bartlett

Yianni Bellis
Yianni Bellis used his trademark symmetry and "evil eye" to ward off evil and draw good luck to the space. His piece focused on using larger patterns with a minimalist approach, and it packs as much power as Bellis does in the Denver scene. 

Chris Haven throwing up paper airplanes for 'Duct Work.
Chris Haven throwing up paper airplanes for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Chris Haven
Chris Haven showed off four styles in what may be the most playful painting of the project, with paper airplanes gliding along the bottom, pyramid men in every color along the center cylinders of the tunnel, a rainbow target and then a classic cityscape, reminiscent of the mural he painted at Crush 2016

Gamma signs his name after painting several portraits for 'Duct Work.
Gamma signs his name after painting several portraits for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Gamma

Stunning murals by Sandra Fettingis (left) and Ark Artiste (right).
Stunning murals by Sandra Fettingis (left) and Ark Artiste (right).
Lindsey Bartlett

Ark Artiste
Ark Artiste made a name for herself with a stunning piece in Project Colfax; she did the mural on the right.

See the Surreal Murals of 'Duct Work While You Can: They're Doomed!
Lindsey Bartlett

A community member

An owl mural painted by Victoriano Rivera and friends.
An owl mural painted by Victoriano Rivera and friends.
Lindsey Bartlett

Victoriano Rivera and friends   

A collaborative mural by Tuke One and Robin Munro.
A collaborative mural by Tuke One and Robin Munro.
Lindsey Bartlett

Tuke One and Robin Munro
Robin Munro, who also goes by the graffiti name Dread, is the founder of Colorado Crush. Tuke One is a graffiti writer and bike guru who works at Urban Cyclist. 

See the Surreal Murals of 'Duct Work While You Can: They're Doomed!
Lindsey Bartlett

Hector Palosios

Community member and artist AE paints the viaducts.
Community member and artist AE paints the viaducts.
Lindsey Bartlett

AE

A Pokemon wild-style mural by Gio.
A Pokemon wild-style mural by Gio.
Lindsey Bartlett

Gio

A mural by Anthony Garcia and Victor Escobedo.
A mural by Anthony Garcia and Victor Escobedo.
Lindsey Bartlett

Anthony Garcia and Victor Escobedo

A work-in-progress shot of a new mural by Square for 'Duct Work.
A work-in-progress shot of a new mural by Square for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Square

A work-in-progress shot of a new mural by Walter Macias for 'Duct Work.
A work-in-progress shot of a new mural by Walter Macias for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Walter Macias

A mural by Javon the Unique for Duct Work.
A mural by Javon the Unique for Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett

Javon the Unique

A new mural by Dane for 'Duct Work.
A new mural by Dane for 'Duct Work.
Lindsey Bartlett
Some viaduct stylings by Girlie and Chris Haven.
Some viaduct stylings by Girlie and Chris Haven.
Lindsey Bartlett

Girlie and Chris Haven

Stephanie Porteous painted this mushroom, alongside a rose, on the viaducts.
Stephanie Porteous painted this mushroom, alongside a rose, on the viaducts.
Lindsey Bartlett

Stephanie Porteous


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >