Art

Denver Muralist Austin Zucchini-Fowler Is at It Again With a Tribute to Teachers

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Lauren Antonoff
Austin Zucchini-Fowler working on his teacher appreciation mural on the "Wall of Gratitude" behind Bigsby's Folly.
Austin Zucchini-Fowler is having a moment.

This Denver muralist, whose usual day job is coaching the Denver Hilltoppers swim team at the University of Denver, has taken up a new task: painting tributes to Denver's front-line workers.

If you follow local news, there's no doubt you've seen his work. His first mural in his front-line workers series, titled “Healthcare Hero,” popped up on a wall near East Colfax Avenue and Williams Street over Easter weekend. Since then, Zucchini-Fowler has been on the move.

In the past three weeks, he has added three new murals to his series, including another health-care worker, a chef and a construction worker.

May 6 marks the addition of the sixth mural in his series: a teacher, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.

The mural, painted on a fence behind RiNo winery Bigsby's Folly, will be the first on what's to become a "wall of gratitude." In the meantime, Bigsby's Folly is using Zucchini-Fowler's designs as labels for the company's free pint promo series, which offers free pints of wine to workers in the latest industry depicted by Zucchini-Fowler's artwork.

Though Zucchini-Fowler is eager to get back to coaching, he's also enjoying this unique chapter in his life. He says the project has been a wonderful meditation on gratitude, and that he'd be painting every day anyway, whether or not it was in such a public capacity.

See more of Austin Zucchini-Fowler's works on his Instagram, @austinzart.