Art News

Crush Walls 2019: Eighteen Can't-Miss Stops

Brian Simmonds
Brian Simmonds Courtesy of RiNo Art District
As Crush Walls grows with every year, navigating the main attraction and its many side shows becomes trickier, too. This year’s fest, the tenth official celebration of street art in Denver, is being touted as a “360-degree art festival,” and will spread out across thirty blocks of RiNo, with plenty of Colorado artists in its lineup.

Yeah, it’s big and bold, and in addition to watching artists prep and paint murals, you can also watch them party over the next nine days. While you could just wander into RiNo and catch lots of action, don't miss these eighteen stops, starting with a big opening bash on Monday, September 2:

click to enlarge Adi Tora - COURTESY OF RINO ART DISTRICT
Adi Tora
Courtesy of RiNo Art District
Crush Walls Opening Party With DRiNk RiNo
Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street
Monday, September 2, noon to 5 p.m.

You have to start somewhere, and this is quite a kickoff: Crush Walls gets off the ground right away with an afternoon public party hosted by neighborhood nonprofit craft brewery association DRiNk RiNo, whose members will line Denver Central Market’s pedestrian alley and parking lot to vend brews, spirits, wine and ciders. You won't have to work hard to have fun on Labor Day.

click to enlarge Hector Palacios - COURTESY OF RINO ART DISTRICT
Hector Palacios
Courtesy of RiNo Art District
Crush Walls Artist Happy Hour
River North Brewery/Blake Street Taproom, 3400 Blake Street
Tuesday, September 3, 6 to 10 p.m.
Free, RSVP at

Get cozy with Crush artists over happy-hour brews on Blake Street, where the taps will flow indoors while the week’s intensive mural-art making takes off outside.

click to enlarge Scott Young, "Wish You Were Her(e)." - SCOTT YOUNG
Scott Young, "Wish You Were Her(e)."
Scott Young
Scott Young, Beat Box
Art Can, 25th and Larimer streets, across from the Ramble Hotel, 1280 25th Street
Wednesday, September 4, and Thursday, September 5, 7 p.m. to midnight

Neon artist Scott Young, whose locally famous “Wish You Were Her(e)” neon sign graces the Ramble Hotel garden, is taking over the hotel’s Art Can shipping-container incubator for two days with the interactive installation Beat Box, with glowing neon noodles you can activate with pulse-rate sensors. Mind-blowing? You have to be there to find out (but beware, there might be a line to play — viewers can only enter two at a time).

click to enlarge Anna Charney - COURTESY OF RINO ART DISTRICT
Anna Charney
Courtesy of RiNo Art District
Women + Street Art
Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer Street
Wednesday, September 4, 5 to 8 p.m.
Free, RSVP at

Women are making the biggest splash ever in the Denver mural scene at this year’s Crush, and this is a celebration to boost that significant achievement. The all-inclusive event starts with a networking hour with artists and their fans among decorations provided by the Ladies Fancywork Society yarn-bombing collective and wheat-paste artist Koko Bayer, followed by a panel discussion with Mary Valdez (who’s commissioned more than 300 murals for Denver Arts & Venues) and artists Robyn Frances (Grow Love), Chelsea Lewinski, UcSepia Ozjuah and Lindee Zimmer.

click to enlarge Nicholas Napoletano - COURTESY OF RINO ART DISTRICT
Nicholas Napoletano
Courtesy of RiNo Art District
Nick Napoletano Mural Installation
Dairy Block Alley, 1800 Wazee Street
Wednesday, September 4, through Monday, September 9, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

While there will be dozens of murals going up just blocks away in RiNo, this one’s crossing the line into the art-activated Dairy Block Alley at the Maven Hotel in LoDo. Starting September 4, muralist Nick Napoletano will be working daily throughout the Crush fest, adding a new dimension to the alley.

click to enlarge DJ Thred spinning discs. - CRUSH WALLS
DJ Thred spinning discs.
Crush Walls
Thursday, September 5: Colorado Crush Party with RC3, Deezy Ie Phunk and Halston
Friday, September 6: Colorado Crush Party with Secret Headliner, DJ Haas, Big J. Beats and DJ Thred
9 p.m. to midnight, nightly
Larimer Lounge
, 2721 Larimer Street
Free, RSVP for one or both nights at
What do mural artists who’ve been sweating all day on the streets do when the sun goes down? A lot of them will want to kick back with a beer or three and party with each other to a background of spins you can dance to. Art fans will want to do the same, and the Larimer Lounge makes it easy with two no-cover, mid-Crush nights of fun for all. The lineup ramps up on the second night with the inclusion of a mystery headliner to be announced.

click to enlarge An artist takes part in the Secret Walls challenge. - CRUSH WALLS
An artist takes part in the Secret Walls challenge.
Crush Walls
Secret Walls
RiNo Location TBA
Friday, September 6, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Admission: $5 in advance

Teamwork counts at the annual Secret Walls event, where two street-artist crews will compete in a ninety-minute battle, wielding black paint markers to work freehand, sans sketches or pencils or even an inkling of what the final product will be. The big secret is its location in RiNo, which isn’t revealed to ticket-holders until right before the event. This is thoroughly worth the five bucks it costs to be in the audience. Doors (wherever they might be) open at 7 p.m.

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Contact: Susan Froyd