You may have noticed new art popping up all over town on walls and windows around Boulder. While we’ve all been sheltering-in-place, artists have taken to the streets to make new work and cover up irreverent tags splashed over old work.
Smith Klein Art Gallery on Pearl Street Mall
Ann and Nathan Klein, who run Smith Klein Gallery at 1116 Pearl Street, which they bought from Nathan’s mother who originally opened it in 1984, felt a responsibility to create something with art that was positive and uplifting during a time filled with negativity.
With doors shut for Covid-19, the gallery boarded its windows, unsure when those boards would come down. Feeling the need to beautify the space and create something uplifting, Ann decided the boards needed paint.
Not knowing many local muralists, she first reached out to well-known undercover street artist Smile through Instagram, who found the project interesting but the gallery’s location too public. Greg Lefcourt of Beleza Coffee Bar suggested Ann reach out to Leah Brenner Clack, founder of Street Wise Arts, who suggested several artists to Ann.
She ended up going with Patrick Maxcy, whose work she had seen on a fence at Leah’s house.
“Patrick and his wife, who is a freelance photographer, are due with their first baby in July,” said Ann. “Patrick is a freelance artist, and had a big gig for South by Southwest recently cancelled. It felt good to reach out and give him some work.”
The gallery gave Patrick no guidance other than that they loved his style after seeing the mural of birds he painted on Leah’s fence, and their marketing campaign slogan “Art is life, art is beauty, art is hope.” He knocked out the mural in two days, finishing up this past Wednesday May 13.
Old Wendy’s at 27th Way and Moorehead Avenue
This building continues to buzz as a popular site for both city sanctioned art and vandalism overtop of it. A few new pieces have recently sprung up on it to cover old work that got destroyed, adding to its history.
One artist, Derek Carpenter got a Creative Neighborhood Project Grant through the Boulder Office of Arts + Culture to give old work a face lift. His murals on the old Wendy’s building at 27th Way and Moorehead Avenue wrap around the entire building, adding to the others that have come before his.
Another mural by painter and tattoo artist Cori James (her first mural!) recently went up on different wall of the same building.
Local photographer and hand-crafted apparel maker Edica Pacha plans to put up a wheatpaste photographic mural on the back of the “old Wendy’s” building facing Moorehead after the rain on Sunday.
One artist, Koko Bayer, has been wheat pasting “hope” hearts all over towns in Colorado. She did one at Alfalfas, and this one she recently put up at The Dairy Center.
Frasca + Pizzeria Locale
Maxwell Avenue and Broadway Street
Commercial real estate agency Market Real Estate, with the help of Todd Walsh’s vision, recently commissioned artist Kelly Angelovic to give its building at the corner of Maxwell Avenue and Broadway Street a face lift.
Keep your eyes peeled
According to Leah Brenner Clack, she and artist Cindy Sepucha, who works for Downtown Boulder, are working with the Downtown Boulder Partnership to get approval to add color to the old Liquor Mart at Canyon Avenue and 19th Street. The building will eventually be torn down, but before then artists hope to snag its boarded windows.
Murals could proliferate. Street Wise Arts will connect businesses wanting murals with its network of muralists for free right now, says Leah.
Header Image: Patrick’s mural in progress. Image: Ann Klein.