Art News

Twenty-Five Best New Murals in Colorado, 2016

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14. Lolo YS
3675 Wynkoop Street, Helikon Gallery

Lauren YS Illustration is based out of San Francisco but never ceases to show Denver love with her murals. One of her most ambitious pieces to date is "The Archer," on the north-facing wall of RiNo's Helikon Gallery. "Some lovely ladies came by while I was painting and said she looked like Lakota," Lauren YS wrote on Instagram. "I was hoping the image of a rad bow-wielding woman would be pretty universal, and was therefore happy they saw some of themselves in her!"
15. Mathew Taylor
Pueblo Arts Museum

Matthew Taylor blew past all expectations with his largest mural to date, "The Wall of Wonder," which is on the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo. The piece is an imaginative wonderland of colors that invites visitors into the center. Taylor had sixteen days to complete the enormous project. "It's a mixture of southern Colorado, Pueblo, and the arts center and children's museum," Taylor says. "I think interest was spread across all age groups. I had kids and adults sit and watch me for extended periods, taking in the process of such a large-scale work."
16. Mike Graves 
1950 West 32nd Avenue, Occidental

The back patio of the cool north-side bar Occidental, which is the hip twin-sister bar of Williams & Graham, has become a circus thanks to artist Mike Graves, whose wide range of character-obsessed murals doesn't go unnoticed in the Mile High City. Graves completed the piece three months ago, just before launching into a killer collaboration with Scribe for Colorado Crush 2016. 
17. Molly Bounds
51 Broadway, Buffalo Exchange

Molly Bounds made time in her busy summer schedule to paint a mural on the south-facing wall of Buffalo Exchange on Broadway. Bounds is a master of contemporary pop art and uses bright colors to alter the viewer's expectations of her overtly feminine,  somewhat awkward subjects. Bounds lovingly refers to the piece on Buffalo Exchange as #spacelady on Instagram.
18. Mpek, Phero, Chris Dyer and Casey Kawaguchi
1201 Santa Fe Drive, the Molecule Effect

This group of artists did not disappoint with their latest reincarnation of the wall behind the Molecule Effect at 12th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive. Guest artist Chris Dyer added a dinosaur to the evolutionary-themed wall while he was in town for Colorado Crush 2016. 
19. Oliver Vernon
Colfax Avenue and Speer Boulevard, Cherry Creek bike path

Oliver Vernon has been in the arts scene since 2005, showing his work in galleries in New York, Toronto and the David B. Smith gallery in Denver. Mary Valdez of the Denver Arts & Venues team secured this wall for Vernon when he was in town this August. God bless this explosive mess.
20. Ozjuah Sepia 
Alleyway at 40th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard

The Ozjuahzian universe is alive and well in the streets of Denver, thanks to the wild and creative murals by artist Ozjuah Sepia. Her latest mural features an array of characters that are meaningful to her, including Ozjuahan Frida Khalo, Pinup, Viking, Freedom Fighter, Cherry Princess, Bird Queen and Guardian. Sepia was also featured as one of the ten most amazing new murals of 2016 (so far).
21. Pat Milbery, Pat McKinney and others
Love This City series: 123 West 12th Avenue, 722 Santa Fe Drive and 2314 Broadway

"With everything that's going on now, I feel really good to be able to spread a positive message," Pat Milbery says about the Love This City project, which incorporates designs he had worked on for two years without knowing he'd be approached by Visit Denver and Denver Arts Week for the series. The project boasts three murals so far, which are on the Denver Art Museum complex, El Noa Noa and the Unleaded Group (pictured above). But the project could expand to more buildings.

Other artist collaborators include Pat McKinney, Remington Robinson and Jason Graves. 
22. Sandi Calistro
1700 East Evans Avenue, Jelly U

Jelly U in the University 'hood commissioned Sandi Calistro for a mural earlier this year and asked her to run with a Beetlejuice theme. Calistro's style jived particularly well with these guidelines (though at her level, she tends to work with ultimate creative freedom). Thank you for giving Denver your spin on the classic film, Sandi!
23. Scott Albrecht, Kaitlyn Tucek Tripodi and Anthony Benedetto
3750 Chestnut Place, Blue Moon Brewery's Taproom

Blue Moon Brewing's big beer hall in RiNo boasts a ton of artwork that helps it blend into the neighborhood the best it can thanks to a piece by Scott Albrecht, Kaitlyn Tucek Tripodi and Anthony Benedetto. The Blue Moon mural on the far right of the piece was painted by Anthony Garcia Sr., Victor Escobedo and Tom Bond, but its floral-meets-gecko scene was not their design.
24. Thomas Evans
2350 Arapahoe Street, RedLine

Thomas Evans is one of the newest resident artists at RedLine gallery and blessed its east-facing wall with a new mural – that he painted in a week. There's no time to waste when you have a steady flow of commissioned art, much of which can be seen at Meadowlark Kitchen. Read a full interview with Evans, who made the ranks of the 100 Colorado Creatives this year. 
25. Yulia Avgustinovich
Santa Fe Drive and West Alameda Avenue

Yulia Avgustinovich painted this beautiful nature scene on the south-facing wall behind Stranahan's Whiskey with colorful pastels in an Old West style. "Viva Colorado" incorporates elements unique to Colorado, including the state animal (bighorn sheep), the state bird (the lark bunting) and the state insect (a Colorado hairstreak butterfly). 
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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