| Art |

Paint It Black: Jerry Garcia Mural Covered by New Tenants of Former Quixote's

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Paint it black, indeed.

Black Box, the new tenant of the music venue at 314 East 13th Avenue, has painted over the colorful mural of Jerry Garcia that's glowered from the side of the building since 2012. With fresh black paint, the venue bids a final "fare thee well" to its previous incarnations as jam haven Quixote's True Blue and, before that, rock club Bender's.

As the venue changed hands and concepts over the years, the mural itself evolved and also sparked controversy. When Bender's was in residence, the wall featured a large mural painted by Tommy Nahulu, depicting Johnny Cash smoking a cigarette and casting a mean side-eye toward 13th Avenue.

After an eight-year run, Bender's closed, and Jay Bianchi opened Quixote's True Blue in the space in 2012. This venue was dedicated to fans of the Grateful Dead and other progressive and jam-band music, and the mural was revised to reflect these concerns — by transforming Cash into Jerry Garcia.

This evolution didn't sit well with some neighborhood art critics, who defaced the Garcia mural with buckets of paint. The mural was repainted with an original image of the Grateful Dead guitarist and vocalist — this time with a considerably darker look in his eye.

Four years later, and it seems it was once again high time for a change at the venue. As Westword reported last month, Nicole Cacciavillano and her Sub.mission dubstep brand have taken over the space and are turning it into a dance-centric club called Black Box. One of the first steps is going black — creating an anti-blank canvas by painting the interior and exterior black. The crew is also cleaning out the space, as evidenced by the debris around the building's dumpsters.

So goodbye, Jerry, and goodbye, Johnny. We doubt that the new paint job will be as controversial as the murals were, but let us know if you'll miss the music icon's watchful gaze.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.