Art News

RiNo Mural Program Announces New Plans, Artists for 2022

Tiller Dittlo
RiNo will be painting the town in 2022.
The RiNo Art District has solidified its monthly lineup for the 2022 RiNo Mural Program, and it's kicking off with Women's History Month artists, who will begin creating their mural next week.

Molly Bounds and Sidney Masuga will be painting the Recitals wall in EDENS alley from Tuesday, March 8, through March 21. The project marks a homecoming for L.A.-based printmaker and painter Bounds, who was raised in Colorado and had a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2016 before completing a two-year residency at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Masuga is a local interdisciplinary digital artist whose "work utilizes symbol, form and abstraction to articulate her interests in communication, narrative, and metaphysics," according to a RiNo release.

“The RiNo Mural Program is one more way the Art District is bringing paid opportunities for artists to our community and providing a canvas for a diversity of artist perspectives and experiences,” says Tracy Weil, co-founder and executive director of the district. “Investing in public art has major positive ripple effects. This is a chance for us to bring people together, fostering a stronger sense of community, starting important conversations, and driving economic activity to our local businesses.”

According to RiNo Art District Director of Curation Alexandrea Pangburn, the program will concentrate more on collaboration and community in 2022. "Last year, we really focused on highlighting artist collectives throughout the month that their heritage was being celebrated," she recalls. "The biggest feedback that we received...was that obviously, these people need to be celebrated all year-round and not just in specific months. So we're really focusing on less boundaries this year and working on just celebrating artists and tying in the community."

Because of COVID, RiNo wasn't able to bring in many international artists last year. But in April, Denver will host two artists from its sister city of Brest, France, who'll collaborate with local artists on a mural on Walnut and 35th streets. "And then those artists will go to France in September and do a mural with them," Pangburn says.

In June, RiNo will partner with the Endangered Species Coalition to highlight the reintroduction of wolves in Colorado. "There will be three mural installations going on that month, as well as an educational panel on conservation," she says.

In July, the program is partnering with Lincoln Hill Cares for Youth Collaboration Month, which was established last year. According to Pangburn, this project with an organization that celebrates a historic Black resort community is meant to "tie together youth, outdoors and art [with] an installation at the Art Park, hopefully."

This year, there is also an emphasis on creating equal amounts of art on both sides of the tracks in RiNo. The majority of installations will be done on blank walls, Pangburn says, and "only a couple" of older murals will be painted over, in an ongoing celebration of the program's past and future.

For 2022, the RiNo Mural Program is "surrounding the same goal of really having a sense of ownership between the community and the arts," Pangburn concludes. "So rather than an artist just coming in and doing a mural and walking away, we're really trying to tie in the artist in the community and what's going on, and the community having some sort of ownership of the mural."