DENVER ART STREET: THESE ARE THE BEST MURALS!
For decades, Denver street artists have actively transformed the urban landscape by using the city’s alleyways, building exteriors, warehouses, garage doors, and storefronts as their canvases. Their vibrant and enlightening artwork has been a prominent feature of the city’s artistic expression.
The summer has witnessed an extraordinary surge in street art, with over 100 new creations popping up across Denver. This influx has resulted in a greater abundance of Denver street art for locals and visitors to explore and appreciate.
The Best Denver Street Art
Many of the artworks listed here were commissioned by businesses, events, or communities, while others were unauthorized paintings or graffiti. All of these pieces are displayed in public spaces for everyone to appreciate. Additionally, street art is often found in alleyways, under bridges, or in abandoned lots.
It’s essential to exercise common sense and avoid venturing into unfamiliar areas alone or at night. Lastly, artists view the city’s walls and surfaces as evolving canvases, so don’t be surprised if you encounter a new piece in place of what was originally listed. That’s part of the excitement and charm!!!!
RiNo, short for River North Art District, is a vibrant and artistic neighborhood that has become one of Denver’s creative hubs. Embracing its industrial history, RiNo focuses on revitalizing and repurposing historic warehouses and factories rather than demolishing them. In keeping with this ethos, the district’s creative energy extends beyond the confines of its galleries, with captivating street art adorning nearly every corner. These colorful and innovative artworks contribute to the unique atmosphere and character of RiNo.
Three Must-See Artworks:
- “Reverberations”: Prepare to be mesmerized by the mind-bending display of concentric circles and intricate geometric patterns that dominate this vibrant piece by Damon Soule and Justin Lovato. Located on the eastern side of Larimer Street, between 25th and 26th streets, this artwork creates a pulsating effect against an otherworldly backdrop.
- “Larimer Boy and Girl”: Artist Jeremy Burns showcases his creativity by ingeniously utilizing the building’s protruding fins. As you approach this artwork from a distance, you’ll discover a clever surprise. By walking in one direction, you’ll see a boy with a surprised expression, while going the other way reveals a melancholic girl. You can find this captivating piece at the intersection of 27th and Larimer.
- “2668 Walnut St”: Prepare to be awestruck by Vyal One’s ambitious project that covers the entire building at the corner of 27th and Walnut. The artist’s use of hallucinogenic orbs and mesmerizing eyeballs creates an electrifying visual experience that is truly captivating.
Similar to the glowing neon signs that adorn its streets, East Colfax is a vibrant and lively neighborhood that never sleeps. It pulsates with energy around the clock. This area is renowned for housing some of Denver’s top live music venues, and its urban atmosphere, with a hint of grit, serves as both a magnet and a breeding ground for artistic creativity. Excitingly, there are plans for a grant program that will further enhance East Colfax’s artistic landscape, promising an influx of even more captivating street art in the near future.
Three Must-See Artworks:
- “George Floyd”: A poignant tribute to George Floyd, muralists Detour and Hiero created a powerful portrait of him on the Ready Temporary Services building situated on Colfax Avenue at High Street. This artwork is part of a larger campaign of murals that draw attention to the injustices faced by African Americans at the hands of police officers.
- “Walmart Girl”: Artist Ark Artiste makes a bold statement with their installation at Williams and Colfax. This thought-provoking artwork replaces the heads of a row of nude, armed women with cheerful smiley faces. It’s part of a collaborative effort involving 30 artists.
- “ABend Gallery Mural”: At York and Colfax, you’ll find a captivating mural commissioned by Anthony Garcia and Caleb Hahne. The artwork features mesmerizing images of blindfolded and closed-eye faces, fragmented by vibrant lines and bursts of color. It creates a transfixing visual experience that isn’t to be missed.
The Art District on Santa Fe
The Art District on Santa Fe holds the distinction of being a designated Colorado Creative District, boasting an impressive collection of over 30 art galleries. The neighborhood immerses visitors in a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, with art adorning every surface imaginable. From the interiors of its galleries to the exteriors of doors, alleys, hallways, sidewalks, walls, mailboxes, and windows, the district is a visual spectacle that leaves no corner untouched by creativity.
- “Love This City”: Artist Pat Milbery’s vision of expressing his love for Denver coincided with VISIT DENVER’s desire to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Denver Arts Week. This collaboration resulted in the creation of three murals across different neighborhoods: Art District on Santa Fe (at 7th and Santa Fe), Golden Triangle Creative District (at 12th and Bannock), and River North Art District (at Broadway and Arapahoe). Each mural showcases vibrant colors and unique motifs, such as hearts, birds, and music, that capture the essence of the respective neighborhoods.
- “Smiling Boy”: Located in the alley between Santa Fe Drive and Inca Street, this chain of captivating murals includes a touching depiction of a joyous boy with arms outstretched. Painted by the artist known as B.L.V.D., it adds to the collection of wonderful artworks in the area.
- “The Mermaid”: At the corner of 9th and Santa Fe Drive, you’ll find an eye-catching mural featuring women with flowing hair, sensual expressions, and vibrant colors of turquoise, tangerine, lime, and electric blue. Created by Josiah Lee Lopez in collaboration with artist Ratha Sok and students of VSA Colorado, this artwork highlights the connection between art and disabilities, showcasing the program’s commitment to providing artistic opportunities to individuals with disabilities.
Located in the Highlands neighborhood, Confluence Park is a trendy and vibrant enclave situated just east of I-25. It occupies the area where the South Platte River and Cherry Creek meet, offering a picturesque setting.
The park boasts expansive riverside parkland, providing ample space for recreational activities. In addition to its natural beauty, Confluence Park is home to a variety of fashionable eateries, boutique shops, and condominiums. One notable feature of the area is the abundance of colorful paintings that grace the walls of bars, breweries, and buildings, adding an artistic touch to the vibrant atmosphere.
Three Must-See Artworks:
- “Peyton Manning”: Gamma Acosta, renowned for his vibrant murals throughout the city, paid tribute to former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning on the side of Monkey Barrel Bar (located on Platte Street beside the Highland Bridge). The mural features Manning and a glowing Vince Lombardi Trophy, added promptly after the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory. It’s a beloved piece by Denverites.
- “Greetings from Denver”: Artist Victor Ving travels across the country, creating vintage postcard-style tributes to various cities. Denver’s rendition is exceptional, showcasing a skier, craft beer, the iconic Union Station, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and other local landmarks. You can find this captivating artwork on the side of Denver Beer Co. at 1695 Platte St.
- “Denver 1859”: During our research for this article, we stumbled upon Delton Demarest and Harrison Nealey, who were preparing to recreate a historic scene of Denver in 1859. The mural depicts the city shortly after its founding when gold seekers flocked to the area. The completed work can be found in the alley half a block north of 15th Street on Platte. With its vibrant colors and historical significance, it’s a captivating piece that captures the essence of Denver’s past.
South Broadway is experiencing a remarkable renaissance, with theaters, music venues, bars, restaurants, galleries, and shops flourishing and contributing to the district’s vibrant atmosphere. Amid this revitalization, the open-air art tradition in the area continues to thrive.
Many of the artworks embrace the “renegade” style of street art, with numerous alleyways and side streets on the west side of South Broadway adorned with diverse expressions, ranging from graffiti tags to intricate masterpieces. This artistic landscape adds an extra layer of creativity and charm to the bustling district.
Three to See:
- GB Fish and Chips: GB’s has granted Delton Demarest full artistic freedom to adorn the patio area and alleyway behind the restaurant with a captivating collection of murals. These artworks range from a lively sea-life soccer game to a vibrant tribute to iconic bands like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, skillfully incorporated into the Union Jack flag. Visiting this spot provides ample opportunity to immerse oneself in a visual feast.
- Bushwackers Saloon: The murals at Bushwackers Saloon are nothing short of eye-catching. They possess an almost three-dimensional quality, seemingly leaping off the wall. Prepare to be both intrigued and slightly unsettled by the sight of a green girl with ants crawling over her, marvel at the intricate details of dinosaurs chasing cars, or let your imagination run wild as you envision being swallowed by a majestic, roaring giant tiger. The murals at Bushwackers Saloon offer a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.
- 1866 South Broadway: On a wall outside the brick Regal Vintage (a used clothing and jewelry store) is a portrait of a biblical Eve-like woman but with modern style, punctuated by a rather colorful serpent. The artwork was crafted by Victoriano Rivera, a talented emerging artist who is steadily gaining recognition for his creative prowess.