The Friday after the June 4 mayoral runoff, Tracy Weil stood in RiNo Made, the store in Zeppelin Station that sells work by members of the RiNo Art District. Weil definitely qualifies: He and fellow artist Jill Hadley-Hooper gave the River North section of Five Points a hip new nickname and founded the RiNo Art District in 2005. Weil became president when the last president, Jamie Giellis, left the job to run for mayor last fall.
As the mayoral race got brutal, the RiNo Art District sustained a couple of blows, including some scrutiny of its lease with Zeppelin Station. But the district survived, and there was Weil, greeting visitors and discussing his work, which was featured in the store gallery in June. July belongs to artist Drew Austin; there will be a reception for his show from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 5, at RiNo Made.
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But there’s more, much more to come in RiNo. Crush Walls, the biggest urban art project in the city (and one that gets bigger every year) is set for September 2 through 8, 2019, when the neighborhood will overflow with live painting, tours and exhibitions. After founding Crush (Creative Rituals Under Social Harmony) a decade ago, founder Robin Munro folded the very homegrown festival into the RiNo Art District several years ago, helping to bolster the group's motto, "Where Art Is Made."
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Partly because of the change in command at the district, and partly because last year’s much-ballyhooed organizer, Montreal’s Station 16, has been replaced with local group Two Parts doing some of the job, the Crush announcements are a little behind schedule this year. But one major event has already been announced: a closing concert with Natalia Lafourcade at the Mission Ballroom, which will have opened just a few weeks earlier at 4242 Wynkoop Street. The concert wll be presented in partnership with AEG Presents Rocky Mountains and North Wynkoop; tickets, $39 to $79, are now on sale at AXS.
And what visual artists will be in the spotlight this year, painting walls round RiNo? The announcement of the artists, painting locations and many more Crush events was pushed back from June 11 to July 9, but expect both some heavyweights and a strong local emphasis when Munro and Weil reveal the lineup, since applications were accepted only from Colorado residents and people who’d partnered with Colorado residents.
For more information, keep an eye on crushwalls.org.