By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – The 10th annual Denver Arts Week kicked off with the city’s First Lady, Mary Louise Lee, doing a little street art. Up on a scissor lift with local artist Pat Milbery, Lee spray painted the letter “L” in the word “love” as part of a bigger mural that will be painted along Santa Fe Drive.

Mary Louise Lee paints part of a mural (credit: CBS)

Mary Louise Lee paints part of a mural (credit: CBS)

“Love is one of my signature words, and the shape… the heart is a signature for me. So it was so special for me to paint in the ‘L’ of the Love. He’s going to clean up a little bit around the edges and everything, but it was a lot of fun,” Lee told CBS4.

Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee (credit: CBS)

Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee (credit: CBS)

Lee is the honorary chairperson for Night at the Museums, which is an evening of free access to more than a dozen museums in the Denver Metro Area.  She encouraged everyone to make a date night, family night, or girls-night-out on Night at the Museums.

“We are a very cultural city, very vibrant. And we need to just explore that, not just this week, we need to explore it all through the year,” Lee said.

Depiction of the finished mural on Santa Fe Dr. (credit: CBS)

Depiction of the finished mural on Santa Fe Dr. (credit: CBS)

The mural Lee had a hand in painting is part of a new partnership that will result in three murals in three different districts in neighborhoods around the city. Local mural artist Pat Milbery is teaming up with VISIT Denver to paint the murals.

Local mural artist Pat Milbery (credit: CBS)

Local mural artist Pat Milbery (credit: CBS)

“I’m incredibly grateful and appreciative of all the creative energy in our city, and there are so many elements of the city that I wanted to create and team up with someone to showcase,” Milbery said during the news conference.

Milbery said that the pieces will use vibrant colors and feel good messaging.

“I’ve been staring at this wall of years and wondering when there’s going to be some art or a mural on there. So it’s such an honor to be making art and creating art on this building here,” he said of the mural on Sante Fe Drive.

The other murals will be located in the Golden Triangle and the RINO Arts District. VISIT Denver commissioned the murals as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of Denver Arts Week.

Richard Sharf, president & CEO of VISIT Denver (credit: CBS)

Richard Sharf, president & CEO of VISIT Denver (credit: CBS)

“It’s really a commemoration of what a great arts and cultural community we have here,” said Richard Sharf, President & CEO of VISIT Denver.

Denver Art Week includes some 300 cultural events at about 130 institutions. It starts with “Know Your Art” First Friday at all the city’s art districts. Visitors can walk around, meet artists, see demonstrations, and take advantage of discounts. Then there are 9-days of special events after that.

LINK: Denver Arts Week

Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.

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