Art News

RiNo Art District Celebrates Wolf Reintroduction With Four New Murals

Wolf reintroduction was the goal of Proposition 114, which was passed by Coloradans in November 2020.
Wolf reintroduction was the goal of Proposition 114, which was passed by Coloradans in November 2020. Hkuchera
The Endangered Species Coalition has joined with the RiNo Art District to line the streets of Denver with murals of wolves during the month of June. Wolf reintroduction was the goal of Proposition 114, which was passed by Coloradans in November 2020.

"The Endangered Species Coalition is very interested in connecting art and culture with conservation issues, and that's how this project got created," says Dillon Hanson-Ahumada, ESC's Southern Rockies representative. He reached out to RiNo Art District Director of Curation Alexandrea Pangburn and discussed his idea of raising awareness about the wolf reintroduction and "reaching people through art," he recalls.

“June is a great time to get out and about in Denver and learn about wolves and the importance of having wolves back in the mountains of Colorado,” says Hanson-Ahumada. "Just reminding people that the restoration of the wolf is a remarkable conservation achievement, something that Coloradans can really take pride in having participated in."

The muralists include Pangburn, Julia Williams, Patrick Maxcy and Armando Silva; no specific guidelines were given to the artists other than incorporating the theme of wolves into their unique styles. Starting on Thursday, June 9, you can find Pangburn's and Williams's murals at Ratio Beerworks. And by Saturday, June 12, you'll be able to see Maxcy’s mural at Epic Brewing; Silva’s mural will be created at Edens, though its placement and timing are still to be determined.

"All of the murals are to highlight and bring awareness to the wolves' reintroduction into Colorado. We want to be able to help bring education and awareness around what is going to be happening," notes Pangburn. "The artists have full creative freedom."
Alexandrea Pangburn painting a mural. - PETER KOWALCHUK
Alexandrea Pangburn painting a mural.
Peter Kowalchuk
A mural dedication ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. June 18 at 2660 Walnut Street, above the Be a Good Person clothing store. All four artists will discuss their murals, the connection between art and conservation, and share why they believe environmental art can encourage change in surrounding communities.

ESC has also worked with several local breweries in the area, which will have wolf-themed drinks and special deals, including Epic Brewing Company, Mockery Brewing, Odell Brewing Company and Ratio Beerworks. Night Lights Denver has also partnered with ESC to celebrate wolves with animation produced by Edd Carr and Gabriel Rolim that will be projected onto the Clocktower this month.

For more on the ESC's Denver wolf celebration events, visit endangered.org/denverwolfcelebration.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.