Westword's Best of Denver celebrates everything to love in the Mile High City, from old venues to new, hair to food, and art both private and public. There's so much going on in Denver's art scene, we had trouble narrowing down the new public-art contenders — created between the 2015 Best of Denver and this year's 2016 edition, which came out March 31 — to a single winner. So now we're sharing the ten best murals of the past year, before new projects start springing up all over town.
10. Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios inside the MCA
1485 Delgany Street
This piece on the interior of the Museum of Contemporary Art was painted by Jaime Molina and Pedro Barrios over the course of several weeks in February, debuting officially on March 4, 2016. Students were able to help the creative duo bring the wild and colorful indoor piece to life, while the influence of both Molina and Barrios showed the kids that being a professional artist is possible. These are the men who prove it.
9. Jeremy Burns
2732 Larimer Street
We're feeling the burn — the Jeremy Burns, that is. He's the talented artist who created the playful "Larimer Boy and Girl," which dominated the social-media realm covering Denver street art in 2015. This is one smart piece: The boy and girl move and distort as you go by — an optical illusion, because they were painted on the protruding fins of the building.
Cherry Creek Bike Path
Sense hails from Japan, and Denver is now lucky to have his work grace the walls of the Cherry Creek Bike Path, thanks to the Urban Arts Fund and Jonathan Lamb and Like Minded Productions, which curated the space. With their work, Sense and fellow Japanese artist Mon also made our list of the most amazing new Summer murals in 2015. Domo arigato.
7. Wazee Union
3501 Wazee Street
All good things must come to an end. With the help of Wazee Union studio artists, the exterior wall of the space was fully painted in 2015, before the building closed. The majority of the exterior was done by Tom Scharfenberg, Chris Haven, Phero and Nice Beats; other artists who contributed to the space include Girlie, Esme, Efit, Zombie138, Jester, Vestige, Reks, Yen 34, Gripe, Herbert Bayer via Wazee Union studio artist Koko Bayer, and more. While a new affordable work space for artists is in the works at GRACe, we will miss the urban art decking out Wazee Union.The building is set to come down throughout May, as it's tented and taken out piece by piece for environmental reasons.
City, O' City
206 East 13th Avenue
The collective known as Primerdome has created some of the coolest wheat pastes in Denver; these artists were behind this stunning Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie hybrid at City, O' City. Well played, Primerdome. Mystery solved.
Continue reading for five more of the best new murals in Denver.
5. Gregg Deal's Bernie Sanders
2151 Larimer Street
Denver has been feeling the Bern, thanks to Gregg Deal. A Native American artist who recently relocated to Colorado to take up an indigenous residency at the Denver Art Museum, Deal was contacted by the owner of Train Fitness, Danica Ansardy, through mutual friend Adam Lancaster, to create this Bernie Sanders piece in a classic propaganda style. "With the amount of passion that's in Sanders's overall campaign and what's happening with young people across the country," explains Deal, "that sort of propaganda style fits."
4. Anthony Garcia and Tom Bond
Where Wood Meets Steel
4903 Washington Street
Anthony Garcia and Tom Bond absolutely killed this piece that they created at Where Wood Meets Steel, an artist studio collective, with the help of some local kids. Garcia had a busy 2015: He won a Westword MasterMind award; his Birdseed Collective became an official nonprofit; he published 1/1 Magazine; and he opened his own gallery, Alto, at 4345 West 41st Avenue.
3. The Lost Object
2635 Walnut Street
Hyland Mather is the Lost Object, but he found a lot of acclaim over the past year: painting at last summer's Colorado Crush; creating the show Resonancy, which just kicked off at Lane Meyer Projects; and, of course, painting the exterior of Define Cyclery with help from Anthony Garcia. This stunning, geometric mural came together in the fall of 2015 and has been an inspiration.2. The Meininger Art Wall
Eight artists contributed to the outdoor gallery at the Meininger Art Supply store, making our amazing mural summer list and landing in the number-one spot at the end of 2015. We love what Judd Meininger and family are doing in Denver, including the dope new boutique that his wife opened in City, O' City, called the Queen City General Store.
1. Project Colfax
1175 East Colfax
Project Colfax is one of the largest feats of urban artistry in the city. Artists started painting the blank walls of this old car wash late last year; their work was finished just in time for the project to take the number-one place in Best of Denver. The inside is completely decked out in the work of huge-hitting graffiti artists, with pieces by Axiom, Mike Giant, Jher, NSpire, Emit, Keith Jive, Duble and many more. The exterior of Project Colfax boasts pieces by another fifteen artists, with work layering on top of itself in beautiful harmony; contributors include Gamma Gallery, Sandra Fettingis, Paige Madden, Mike Graves, Jesse Frazier, Dread, Ark Artiste, Ravi Zupa, Yianni Bellis, Koko Bayer, Mario Zoots and many more. See this piece of urban art while you can; its future is unknown.