Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Park Hill gets creative with its alley art

Don't let Denver Partners Against Graffiti near Park Hill this month — at least not until they've taken a refresher course in arts appreciation. Because otherwise, they could ruin the Park Hill Alley Contest, a true community service concocted by residents Jack and Pam Farrar. Back in May, the Farrars officially launched their contest during the Park Hill Alley Cleanup, encouraging residents to display their "civic spirit" — and discourage graffiti — by decorating their newly neat alleys with impromptu art. "No material is too weird," they advised. "In fact, the weirder the better."

Park Hill residents have until September 20 to create their masterpieces, which will then be judged in the categories of Most Creative Use of Materials, Most Colorful and Best Overall, with the winners announced at the Park Hill Home Tour on September 28. "It's mostly found art and stuff we've hammered together," reports Jack. About a dozen pieces have been entered in the contest so far, but Pam says she's seen lots of recent activity. The early viewing is particularly good north of Montview Boulevard, between Hudson and Holly — but then, that's where the Farrars have put up at least fifty pieces of their own alley art.

Although none of their works are eligible, the Farrars already qualify as real works of art.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun