Art News

Vandalism of Gamma's DeMarcus Ware Mural at Project Colfax Hits Hard

The DeMarcus Ware mural at Project Colfax entitled "BE WARE," created by acclaimed artist and Broncos fan Gamma Gallery, was vandalized over the weekend. The urban-art piece wraps around the south- and east-facing walls of the enormous outdoor art project at Williams Street and East Colfax Avenue, which boasts the work of over thirty artists. But during the evening of February 21, someone threw a cinderblock though the piece, shattering most of the face of DeMarcus Ware.

"Shit happens. Enjoy it while you can, nothing lasts forever," Gamma said on Facebook, as an introduction to the photo of the artist standing in the shattered portion of his mural. That, he added, is "the nature of the art."

A large part of the "BE WARE" mural had been painted on what had once been a window of the Denver Car Wash, a site now owned by Kentro Properties and donated for the temporary Project Colfax piece.

A representative of Kentro Properties found a PBR can and an empty cigarette pack by the scene of the crime, but no video cameras at neighboring businesses seem to have caught the vandal in the act. "We might install surveillance now because of this," the Kentro rep says. "Don't worry, Gamma is going to fix it. They tore it down, but it's hard to shake this artist. He's putting it back up. We have pride in our home town, in the Broncos, in what we're doing here with Project Colfax." In fact, Gamma was most upset over the fact that he didn't get to do the smashing himself. He's already bricked up the wall; he'll  repaint the piece in the coming weeks. And when DeMarcus Ware comes back to Denver after his trip to South Africa, he says he wants to have his photo taken with the piece, and maybe even help Gamma knock it down again. 

"You can't let people win," the Kentro rep continues. "When someone attacks you, you just have to fight for what you believe in. Most people respect art enough that they're not going to do that to it. It is what it is. It's part of it when you're doing work outdoors."

Catch it while you can.

Read the original Westword coverage of Project Colfax and view more photos from the spot.
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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