Arts and Culture

The Ten Most Amazing New Street Art Murals of Summer 2016

It's been a hot summer — both in air temperature and aesthetics. Street artists continue to blow away all expectations as they enliven the Denver art scene, and these ten new murals prove it. As more mainstream organizations such as the Urban Arts Fund and the Downtown Denver Partnership pay more attention — and more money — to urban art, these local creators are finally getting the canvases they deserve.

A few months ago we rounded up our favorite murals from early 2016. Here, in alphabetical order, are the most draw-dropping new murals of this summer. 10. Ozjuah Sepia
1284 South Pearl Street

Ozjuah Sepia painted the exterior of AikoPops, adding to its beautiful back-patio gallery in Platt Park. Her ice cream princess warrior is in good company, as the space boasts colorful and hilarious AikoPops personified by Thien Tao, as well as a baby facade by a mysterious artist whose work is seen all over town, including Project Colfax. AikoPops owner Christopher Mosera is a lover of great food and great art— both of which are represented at this spot. 
9. "Bad Cop Versus Good Cop" by Scot Lefavor
Cold Crush Live
2700 Larimer Street

Scot Lefavor has collaborated with Musa Bailey, DJ and co-owner of Cold Crush, to touch on an important, sensitive topic in the United States: law enforcement and race relations. Their new Cold Crush piece, "Bad Cop Versus Good Cop," was painted on the south-facing wall that's known as "the phoenix wall" because of its constant reinterpretation by local artists since the club's founding in 2012. Find out more about what Lefavor and Bailey think of the highly controversial new piece and its meaning in our Q&A. 
8. BBID Artistic Crosswalk Installation Project
The Bluebird Theater
3317 East Colfax Avenue

If you've looked down at the ground by the Bluebird Theater, you probably have noticed some brightly colored new graphics on the street in front of the venue and up the block to the crosswalks at St. Paul Street. These ground murals are no mistake: They're the work of fifteen artists, including Rebecca of Studio Colfax, Jared Anderson and many more. This is the first project of its kind curated by the city, and could pave the way for more colorful street scenery around Denver. As organizer Anne Kuechenmeister explains, "This project is a year in the making and a test for the City of Denver to add art to our public spaces in a whole new way."
7. Budweiser Mural by Pat Milbery and Pat McKinney
Avis Rental Cars
1900 Broadway

Pat Milbery and Pat McKinney have done the impossible: They secured a huge wall, highly visible in the Central Business District, where they created a Budweiser "America"-themed mural just in time for the Fourth of July. The mural juxtaposes an animated history of Denver and the city skyline right in front of the skyline itself. People heading south on gray Broadway can't miss this bright addition. Thank you, Milbery and McKinney.
6. "Dancing Through Space and Time" by Jonathan Lamb and Michael Ortiz
Denver Performing Arts Complex
1101 13th Street

The side of the parking garage at the Denver Performing Arts Complex is now adorned with "Dancing Through Space and Time," a giant mural by Michael Ortiz and Jonathan Lamb of Like Minded Art. To see it all, you'll need to crank your neck — but the effort is well worth it.

Keep reading for five more of the best new street-art murals painted in summer 2016. 

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Lindsey Bartlett is a writer, photographer, artist, Denver native and weed-snob. Her work has been published in Vanity Fair, High Times and Leafly, to name a few.
Contact: Lindsey Bartlett