Murals popping up around Boulder

A dialogue of walls

By Tatyana Sharpton May 15 2020

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 Klein

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.

Patrick at work. Image: Patrick Maxcy.

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.

Guided only by Smith Klein’s marketing campaign, “Art is life, art is beauty, art is hope,” Patrick Maxcy painted this mural in two days, finishing up just yesterday. Image: Patrick Maxcy.

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.

Derek Carpenter’s new pixelated rainbows cover a tag that vandalized Alvin Gregorio’s mural painted through Street Wise Arts. Image: Leah Brenner Clack.
Derek worked in collaboration with another artist on this one overtop another vandalized mural painted by artist Rye Quartz in 2014. They left the top part of the mandala visible as part of the wall’s history. Image: Leah Brenner Clack.

Another mural by painter and tattoo artist Cori James (her first mural!) recently went up on different wall of the same building.

“We’ll get through this.” Mural and image by Cori James.

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.

Image: Edica Pacha

The Dairy

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.

Koko’s mural on the side of The Dairy. Image: Koko Bayer.

Frasca + Pizzeria Locale 

A couple murals also popped up at Frasca Food and Wine at 1738 Pearl Street and at Pizzeria Locale, located on the same street at 1730 Pearl Street.

Pizzeria Locale added some color to both its windows and door boards.  Image: Paul Hagey.
Frasca’s painted boards. Image: Evie Photography.
Image: Paul Hagey.


Image: Evie Photography.

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.

#BOULDERSTRONG. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.

Keep your eyes peeled

Leah Brenner Clack

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.