By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4)– There is a new billboard in downtown Denver that is a work of art. It is a sign of the times with the message: Stop Hate.

The billboard will be up for just one month, but the artist is hopeful it will have an impact.

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If you take the I-25 off ramp at Auraria Parkway to downtown Denver, there is a chance you’ll see it on the right. It has red, white and blue circles, the colors of the U.S. flag, with black doves inside.

It’s not an advertisement, but an appeal from an artist to stop hate.

“We’re living in a very troubled time,” George Rivera told Kathy Walsh.

Rivera, an artist, has addressed division and conflict for decades.

In 1996, the CU Boulder professor founded a group called the Artnauts, using visual arts to address global issues.

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When Kathy met him back in 2018, he was packing up a show to hang in a museum on the boundary between North and South Korea. He never thought he would need to act back home.

“We are in a situation where crisis is upon us,” Rivera said. “This was too big of a social issue for me to ignore.”

So, with two grants from CU, Rivera put up the billboard for the month of February, Black History Month.

“Because that’s one group that’s an object of hate, but there are other groups,” he said. “It’s become very generalized in this society this hate.”

Rivera hopes his billboard art will be noticed by many, generates discussion on hate and helps us heal.

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What he told Kathy back in 2018, he still believes.

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“Art by itself does not change the world, but it changes people who can change the world.”

Kathy Walsh