Visual Arts

Will Day's Paintings Sound Every Bit as Good as They Look

You can find art all over town — not just on gallery walls. In this series, we'll be looking at some of the local artists who serve up their work in coffeehouses and other non-gallery businesses around town.

Boulder Open Studios is celebrating its twentieth year of connecting artists with the community through its Open Studios Fall Artist Tour, a two-weekend event starting Saturday that “allows artists to share their dreams and visions,” as painter Will Day puts it. Featuring both emerging artists to professionals, creating everything from sculpture to mixed media, the tour invites locals into the studios of a slew of talented artists, including Day, who is opening up his space at The Studio Boulder, 3550 Frontier Avenue.

Day will show an expansive body of work, including four new pieces he created specifically for the tour in partnership with Boulder-based Soundwall, a company that makes music more beautiful by ditching the black-box speakers and letting customers choose framed art or other creative surfaces for listening to streaming music through the company’s Distributed Mode Loading (DML) system. “Listening to music while you are looking at art can bring out something unique, and tap into something you wouldn’t normally feel,” Day explains. 

He loved the idea of doing a large-scale series directly on Soundwall’s wireless speakers — a canvas he found akin to Gatorfoam board panels. Soundwall framed Day’s finished art in wood to “hide all of the technology,” he adds. “As an artist, you always want to try something new and different, and this was a wonderful thought process."  One of Day’s specialties is experimenting with mediums, and the artist says he’s used every type of material imaginable: acrylic, spray paint, oil and watercolor, for starters.

The four colorful pieces in Day’s Soundwall series are bold and abstract. The artist listens to everything from classical music to jazz and rock and roll, and each piece was painted to the tune of a distinct genre. “The composition is about letting go," Day says, "and letting my spirit react to the beautiful music that was playing during the creative process.”

Day has been a full-time artist for nearly seven years now. Aside from the two dimensional drawing class he took in undergrad, he doesn’t have any formal training in fine art. “But I have a masters in architecture, so I learned design,” he points out.  “I’d done a lot of different things. From working on Wall Street to being a real estate developer, I’ve had every job in the book, and then a life-changing event occurred.”

During a particularly low point in his life, he “started going downstairs and painting,” Day recalls. He didn’t think of himself as an artist: “I just didn’t connect to the world, and art became this platform for finding myself,” he explains.

Day’s paintings are rooted in nature, the painter says it’s his faith that really inspires him: “Each piece is a conversation with God.”

Day is represented by the McLoughlin Gallery. His work was at Art Aspen Gallery, 228 South Mill Street, last month; earlier this year, he did a group exhibition at Rembrandt Yard Gallery and worked with houseless artists through Bridge House. Day also does corporate exhibitions locally and nationally. “For me,” Day says, “It’s about how I can find places to exhibit.”  For more information on the artist, visit Will Day's website

Boulder Open Studios runs from noon to 6 p.m. October 3-4 and again October 10-11. Find more information at

Follow Jamie Siebrase on Twitteri