DENVER (CBS4) – Denver is adding art everywhere, everything from wall murals to sidewalk stencils. A new tour offers the story behind the art.
“It’s going to be roughly 20-blocks, 2-miles of walking, 5,000-steps if you’re a fit bit wearer,” said James Carlson on a recent Denver Graffiti Tour.
In 5,000-steps in Denver’s RiNo Art District, you can see some amazing art.
“I absolutely love the art, and I love seeing people’s reaction to the art,” Carlson told CBS4.
PHOTO GALLERY: Denver Street Art
Carlson and his wife, Erin, started Denver Graffiti Tour in May. It’s fashioned after a street art tour they took in Bogota, Colombia. They use the tour as a way to not only share the art, but also to share the story behind the art.
“They call this ‘Fool’s Gold’. Denver has a history as a pass through for minors. Somebody is panning for gold there, but it’s burning up,” Carlson describes one of the wall murals on the tour.
Along with the art, Carlson gives a little history of the neighborhood and how it’s changing.
“There’s a lot of positives and negatives going on here, and how you feel about that change really depends on which side of it you fall,” Carlson explained.
The art is part of that change. In some cases, it offers commentary on our current society. For example, a stencil on the sidewalk shows a guy on his cellphone. That’s a piece you may only notice if you’re looking down at your cell phone.
“I just kind of point it out because there is street art everywhere, and there’s beauty everywhere if you’re keeping your eyes open,” Carlson said on the tour.
There’s even beauty and meaning in tagging on what was once a mural. Dollbaby faces are a statement about Syria, a picture of a crushed can depicts American consumerism, and then there’s a string art flower.
The tour winds through several streets and alleyways. Many of the pieces are newly done as part of the 2018 Colorado Crush, Denver’s urban art festival. From big name street artists to new local taggers, the art tells the story of a neighborhood in transition, and a city further defining itself.
LINK: Denver Arts Week