The 38th Street underpass has been an eye sore for a while now, especially next to the well-groomed 38th and Blake Street RTD station. Now with the help of hundreds of volunteers, So-Gnar Creative Division and Knomad Colab are finishing their combined projects to spruce up the underpass with blocky, colorful murals and specially-designed light displays. Last year, the north side (with the sidewalk) of the underpass was painted and with Knomad Colab’s patterned steel barriers soon to be casting artistic shadows, it will be completed. This past weekend, the south side was painted with the help of some dedicated volunteers amidst a constant stream of honking traffic— some supportive honks and some asshole honks—because the street had to be closed in the eastern-bound lane between Brighton Boulevard and Walnut Street.
The project has been sponsored by Blue Moon Brewery and the RiNo Art District, with supplies donated from Guiry’s Paint and with a food truck serving volunteers tacos. With direction from So-Gnar’s artists— Pat Milbery, Pat McKinney, Jason Graves, Remington Robinson, Hunter Stevens and Ryan Fox— volunteers painted a significant amount of wall space with pinks, purples, blues and teals. The So-Gnar artists used masking tape to denote the different sections and patterns of color, and spent time cleaning paint rollers and mixing paints. “Without their help this large of a mural takes more than two days,” Remington Robinson commented, “it’s nice to have so many hands here.”
This isn’t the first mural the So-Gnar Creative Division has used community volunteers to help with either. They’ve worked with the TEDxMileHigh Adventure series in the past, with a group of teenagers assisting in the creation of the “Love This City” mural at 38th and Blake Streets, across from the RTD station.
Though the painting is now completed, the official ribbon cutting for this project will be on November 30 at 4:30 p.m., once Knomad Colab’s light display is operational. Together, the murals and light displays will help create a safer, happier and more welcoming underpass for pedestrians and drivers to utilize. And it’s another inspirational addition that So-Gnar has contributed to Denver’s street art scene, with colors and vibes that sing “don’t worry, be happy.”
All photos by Cori Anderson