Sep 24, 2023 - Things to Do

Denver Walls takes local street art international

Denver Walls organizer Ally Grimes in front of a mural she's painting in RiNo with Sofia Ramirez of Loveland, right. Photo: John Frank/Axios

Denver Walls organizer Ally Grimm in front of a mural she's painting in RiNo with Sofia Ramirez of Loveland, right. Photo: John Frank/Axios

Denver is now an international destination for street art and fans of it.

What's happening: The international World Wide Walls mural festival lands in Denver this week with top-tier local and global artists coloring their imaginations onto iconic buildings in the River North Arts District.

  • Denver is the 25th city in the world to join the movement, and local organizer Ally Grimm (a Venezuelan artist known as A.L. Grime) says it will create an international street art museum in RiNo.
  • It will feature 18 artists, including Denver's Detour, Dulk, Kimchi Juice and Nychos, all of whom are recognized on a national or international level.

Why it matters: Once done, the murals in RiNo will showcase new — and often underrepresented voices. Organizers hope to make it an annual event.

What they're saying: "For a long time, art was kept locked up in museums," she told John. "We're giving you some of the best art you can see and it's free — and it belongs to the community when it's finished."

The intrigue: Denver Walls — which runs through Oct. 3 — will embrace technology in new ways with projection-mapped murals, artificial intelligence elements, a scavenger hunt and panel discussions about street art.

How it works: The artists began painting last week and plan to finish much of their works this week ahead of the street fair on Saturday.

The back story: The festival is looking for a new start after a previous Denver street mural festival Crush Walls collapsed after sexual assault allegations were made against its founder in 2021.

Zoom in: The new push came together after Grimm participated in a World Wide Walls event in Washington, D.C.

  • Grimm, who is one of the artists participating in the event, started painting when she moved to Denver six years ago from D.C. "I moved here because the creative community was so tight-knit and willing to share information," she said.
  • With the festival, she said, "I wanted to give back to a community that has given me so much."

Go deeper: 5 tips on how to interpret and understand street art

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