Summer may be over, but there are still fresh, exciting murals to see all over the city. Concrete Canvas celebrates the graffiti artists who have made Denver their workshop. They don’t do it for the fame, they do it to transform ordinary places into colorful, thought-provoking, and extraordinary ones. I’m featuring the best street-art that Denver has to offer before the sun goes down on the season for good.
The New Graphic Murals at the Center for the Visual Arts By Swoon
Our first stop is the decked out Santa Fe store-front and Metropolitan State University campus branch building, Center for the Visual Arts. I have shown off their firey stencil work entitled “Bright Future” in the past, and I’m happy to boost the signal again on another great new piece. These stunning portraits by Brooklyn based street-artist Swoon have brought the wall to life.
Swoon, real name Caledonia Dance Curry, created four surreal portraits that capture the diversity, culture, and imaginative power of art in Denver. They evoke powerful emotion and use a fresh, graphic design element. Swoon is known for her life-size wheatpastes, often pasted in uninhabited places. Swoon captures the innocence of each character while celebrating sanctioned street-art as a positive form of self-expression.
The new murals are too beautiful and complex to pass up. Peruse the outside wall or go inside the CVA at 965 Santa Fe Drive to check out the art exhibitions featured this month. Wondering when is the best time to head to the Art District? See these pieces and many more on First Friday at the Art District on Santa Fe, October 4th.
The Brand New Little Man Ice Cream Mural by Jolt
Jolt spent the last few weeks working on this beautiful, colorful, 12 by 12 cultural mural for Little Man Ice Cream. Little Man boasts a 28-foot steel replica of an old timey Ice Cream can in their huge community plaza, located at the intersection of 16th and 30th. The plaza now balances history with modernity with the addition of Jolt’s mural.
Owner of Little Man Ice Cream, Paul Tamburello, hopes the piece will create a dialogue of diversity in his community.
The neighborhood has changed tremendously over the past five years, my hope is that the mural and the conversation it evokes draw attention to the significance of areas past and celebrates its future.
It is a beautiful, bright butterfly-and-broccoli built woman, and she is marvelous. Jolt is one of Denver’s best known graffiti artists. This is why. Be sure to check out the mural in person at Little Man Ice Cream Shop!
Crema Coffee House Mural by Swek and Jolt
The next featured mural isn’t new, but it is bright and shiny. Commissioned by the RiNo coffee house Crema, Jolt and Swek painted this piece that lights up an 8 by 10 West facing wall on 29th and Larimer. Geurilla Garden’s bright and beautiful work can be found all around Denver—on Colfax, in Five Points, in the Art District on Santa Fe, as well as River North.
The Crema mural is another reason why RiNO is the new design district in Denver. Jolt is the owner of Guerilla Garden and hosted the pre-party to this years Colorado Crush. Both Swek and Jolt participated in the event and represented their local roots. Check out more of Swek and Jolt’s work, plus the inside of the Guerrilla Garden here.
The Mysterious Mural Denver Queen City of the Plains Lift High
As far as literary murals go, this one takes the cake. The (not purposefully) anonymous group behind the new mural has been working on it intermittently all summer. I have never caught them in the act, and zoning wasn’t much help, although I’m positive it is a sanctioned piece. I’m calling it “Denver Queen City of the Plains Lift High,” and the mural does just that, being perfected and built bigger, brighter, and more poignant every week before my eyes. The cool color palette is a breathe of fresh air for this dark stretch of road. It’s subtle yet sparkling wisdom hides in an underpass, like a diamond in the rough, embodying the city.
This gorgeous mural is a tribute to Beat literature, both past and present. It features Denver inspired quotes by Paulie Lipman, Anne Waldman, Charlie Fasano, Suzi Q., Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and more. Diverse characters, beautiful women, Aztec like symbols, Buddhas, poetry, and high art all battle for attention on the wall. It is in a bit of a dangerous spot, so be careful crossing at the intersection to get a better look. Judging by the sheer magnitude of the mural, it’s taken a lot of hard work. And it deserves the spotlight.
The giant mural is still a work in progress, so I will keep an eye out in the area and update Concrete Canvas with details. I am on the hunt for the artist/school/organization/group that is responsible for this beautiful Park Avenue mural located under the I-25 overpass on Park and 38th. If you have any information regarding the artists behind the piece, please write in the comment section or email Concrete Canvas at [email protected]. Thank you!