Art News

Black Love Mural Festival Protects Monuments From Graffiti

A mural painted by Speaks that is part of the Black Love Mural Festival in Civic Center Park.
A mural painted by Speaks that is part of the Black Love Mural Festival in Civic Center Park. Alyssa Fisher
The people behind the marketing collective Rob the Art Museum do what they can to spread creative culture through pop-up shows and dinners. While helping clean up Civic Center Park last week, after protests against police violence left much of the area covered in anti-cop graffiti, they brought along an artist to live paint. That got the attention of a Denver Parks and Recreation worker.

“He really loved it,” says Rob the Art Museum’s director of operations Alyssa Fisher. “We pitched him the idea of how we could protect all the statues and monuments, and they really liked that. So, we just sent over the proposal, and they approved it, and then we just got everything put together as fast as we could.”

Over the past week, the collective has been working to put together the Black Love Mural Festival, a collaboration between Rob the Art Museum, IRL Art and the City of Denver that will host twenty black artists, curated by Rob the Art Museum creative director Robert Gray. The lineup includes Aisha, Ki’erre, Fa’al Ali, Thomas "Detour" Evans, Tolu Waob and more, and over the next week, they will create positive art on mobile mural walls in support of Black Lives Matter. The murals will be completed over the next week in time for Juneteenth, on June 19; they'll stay up through June 30.

“We're doing this as a preventative measure for all of the vandalism,” Fisher says, “but also as an act of solidarity between the people and the city, using art.”

The murals will be primarily in the middle of Civic Center Park, around sculptures including one of Christopher Columbus, "On the War Trail" and "The Bronco Buster," as well as around the flagpole.

click to enlarge Artists participating in the Black Love Mural Festival. - BLACK LOVE MURAL FESTIVAL
Artists participating in the Black Love Mural Festival.
Black Love Mural Festival
“We hope to turn this into an annual event and continue to find ways to support this beautiful community,” Fisher says.

Rob the Art Museum has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for the artists and the build-and-breakdown team, as well as related supplies.

Fisher says Rob the Art Museum is also working toward a similar collaboration with the State of Colorado, but she’s still waiting to hear back from state officials.
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon