Have you noticed more street art around Boulder lately? Normal areas around town are now covered in colorful art. That’s thanks to Street Wise Boulder - an initiative by local artists and art space that brings together murals on alleyways, buildings and more. You can find a mural map of all their artists’ work here. In addition to street art, there is currently an exhibition at the Canyon Gallery in the Boulder Library.
I have loved seeing some of the stunning artwork around downtown, like this mural by Max Coleman in the alley of 2030 17th Street. His mural is a beautiful pink and red manatee with the clear message of “Defend the Defenseless.” Coleman includes this message on the mural because there have been a high number of manatee fatalities from human-related causes, and loss of habitat is the most serious threat manatees face in the US.
Other street art with strong and meaningful messages in downtown include this piece by Tony Zellaha. His mural is of a gorgeous butterfly on the 3rd floor balcony of 929 Pearl Street. Tony says his mural of the Uncompahgre Fritillary Butterfly represents endangered species impacted by habitat destruction, climate change and resource depletion.
Street Wise’s exhibition at Boulder Library’s Canyon Gallery features more murals about endangered species. A part of Street Wise’s goal is to raise awareness about specific social issues. They call their exhibition a mission of “artivism” or art as activism - to restore our personal power and to create positive change. One piece that I really love from their exhibition is ‘Survival’ by Patrick Maxcy. This mural depicts an orangutan holding a green flag surrounded by trash and cut down trees. This speaks directly at the issues of deforestation and pollution which affect the survival of orangutans and other animals.
Not only are there many murals on animal extinction, but the Canyon Gallery also showcases murals about other social issues.“Skolstrejk For Klimatet“ (Swedish for “School Strike for the Climate”) by LMNOPI is a portrait of 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.
There is also a series of art pieces by The Matador focused on a variety of relevant social issues.
Seeing all of this unique and inspiring artwork has made me appreciate the caring and passionate community in and around downtown Boulder. I hope you get to go out and see all the eye-popping murals around the district, especially the exhibition at Boulder Library where you get to see the most all at once! Their exhibition ends on December 1st so stop by soon!
See you by the Street Art,
Mentioned in this Post: Boulder Public Library’s Canyon Gallery & Theater
Tagged: Art, Boulder