September should just be called "urban art month" in the Mile High City because there are so many amazing, mural-centered events over the next few weeks. The biggest and best is always saved for the end of the sunny season: The Crush, the annual repainting of RiNo, this round featuring a 75-artist-strong roster. But this month will also see the unveiling of a farm-turned-artists'-haven at Concept and a repainting project underneath an I-70 viaduct thanks to the Denver Urban Arts Fund.
Here are the five coolest street-art events this month.
1. CherryArts Festival
A massive mural will wake up a two-block stretch in front of the Stanley Marketplace just in time for the CherryArts Festival, which begins on September 16. "Denver muralist Yulia Avgustinovich created the whimsical design concept that unites Stanley's prior historical operations as an ejection-seat manufacturer with Aurora and Colorado history and the growth and redevelopment happening in the area today," says Aurora spokeswoman Julie Patterson. Over fifty volunteers came out to bring Avgustinovich's two-block long mural to life in Aurora's Westerly Creek Village area, on Clinton Street from Montview Boulevard to East 22nd Avenue. "The city-sponsored street-mural project is a result of an ongoing effort among city departments to spur economic revitalization in this part of Aurora through creative collaboration and inspired thinking," she adds. The project in numbers: It took 300 pairs of gloves, more than 200 paintbrushes, 25 rollers and 34 gallons of paint to complete the mural.
2. Murals, Transforming the Face of Place
Denver Arts + Venues will bring experts on the urban art scene to the McNichols Building for the latest program in Imagine 2020's latest speaker series, "Transforming the Face of Place." They'll talk about upcoming mural projects, what street-art commissions will be coming to Denver in 2016, and the importance of street art in an urban environment. Speakers in the series include Cathy Harris from Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program; Michael Chavez of the Denver Urban Arts Fund; Leah Brenner, owner of And Art in Boulder; and Lindee Zimmer, who is working on the Fort Collins Mural Project. The program runs from 8:30 to 11 a.m. in the newly renovated McNichols.
3. Colorado Crush "The Crush" 2016
The largest street-art festival in the city will welcome the work of over 75 artists this year and will transform a record-breaking amount of canvas space in RiNo, along Walnut and Larimer streets between the 2400 and 3400 blocks. Artists who'll be painting there (some have already started) include Elle Street Art, Woes from L.A., Jose Mertz from Miami, Sense from Japan, Markham Maes, Chris Haven, Patrick Gillan and many more. The free event kicks off on Saturday, but you can stop by throughout the week to see works in progress, then return for the event itself. For more information and a map of the mural locations, go to coloradocrush.org.
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4. Meet the Space at Concept Colorado
An artists' haven and studio warehouse is blooming in Commerce City. There will soon be a new build on this eleven-acre lot at 6601 Colorado Boulevard, but for now it holds a house, other old farm buildings and metal structures, a 53-foot semi-truck that has been transformed into a pop-up gallery, and a ton of potential. Jeanie Nuanes-King purchased the space with her husband, Bill, when she returned from the East Coast and found no affordable spaces for artists in Denver. Karen Roehl of Ice Cube Gallery began working on curating the space, reaching out to Thomas Evans and Anthony Garcia to paint the trailer (above) to start the transformation of the space into an artist's sanctuary on the outskirts of the city. Artists/outfits that have committed to studios at Concept include Mark Sink, Anthony Camera, Brian Leester, Ice Cube and more. Starting at 4 p.m. on September 30, Meet the Space will host artists and the community at a welcoming party featuring an art exhibit by concept colorado studio artists, entitled anything is possible, in the pop-up gallery; music by the Anthony Russo Band; and food and drink at an evening that promises to be "very out of the box."
5. Viaduct Painting Project, aka Duct-work
September 27-October 1
New murals will fill the big, empty space underneath the I-70 corridor at York Street and climb up the walls. This Denver Urban Arts Fund project will feature the work of sixteen local artists, including Jesse Frazier, Paige Madden, Yiannis Bellis, Chris Haven, Onver Macias, Elvis Nunez, Giovanni Sanchez, Robin Munro, Sandra Fettingis, Gamma Gallery, Thomas Evans, Scot Lefavor, Noah Baker, Ariel Kiskiras, Paul Ramirez and Demi DeHerrera. Some of the walls will be as tall as twenty feet, others as short as ten. All will be amazing.