The RiNo Art District has solidified its monthly lineup for the 2022 RiNo Mural Program, and it kicks off with Women’s History Month artists, who will begin creating their mural next week.
Molly Bounds and Sidney Masuga will paint the Recital Wall in EDENS Alley from Tuesday March 8th to March 21st. The project marks a homecoming for Los Angeles-based printmaker and painter Bounds, who grew up in Colorado and presented an exhibit at the Museum. of Contemporary Art in 2016 before completing a two-year residency at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Masuga is a local interdisciplinary digital artist whose “work uses symbol, form, and abstraction to articulate her interests in communication, storytelling, and metaphysics,” according to a statement from RiNo.
“The RiNo Mural Program is another way for the Art District to provide paid opportunities for artists in our community and provide a canvas for a diversity of artist perspectives and experiences,” said Tracy Weil, co-founder and executive director of the district. “Investing in public art has major positive ripple effects. It’s a chance for us to bring people together, foster a stronger sense of community, start important conversations, and drive economic activity for our local businesses.
According to RiNo Art District of Curation Director Alexandrea Pangburn, the program will focus more on collaboration and community in 2022. “Last year we really focused on showcasing artist collectives throughout of the month when their heritage was celebrated,” she recalls. “The biggest feedback we’ve had…is that obviously these people need to be celebrated throughout the year and not just in specific months. So we’re really focusing on fewer borders this year and work solely on celebrating artists and equality in the community.”
Due to COVID, RiNo was unable to bring in many international artists last year. But in April, Denver will host two artists from its sister city of Brest, France, who will collaborate with local artists on a mural on Walnut and 35th Street. “And then these artists will go to France in September and do a mural with them,” Pangburn said.
In June, RiNo will partner with the Endangered Species Coalition to highlight the reintroduction of wolves to Colorado. “There will be three wall installations that month, as well as an educational panel on conservation,” she says.
In July, the program partners with Lincoln Hill Cares for Youth Collaboration Month, which was established last year. According to Pangburn, this project with an organization that celebrates a historic black resort community aims to “connect youth, the outdoors and art [with] an installation at the Art Park, I hope.”
This year, the focus is also on creating equal amounts of artwork on both sides of RiNo’s tracks. The majority of installations will be done on blank walls, Pangburn says, and “only a few” older murals will be painted, in an ongoing celebration of the program’s past and future.
For 2022, the RiNo mural program “aims at the same goal of truly having a sense of connection between community and the arts,” Pangburn concludes. “So rather than an artist coming in and doing a mural and leaving, we’re really trying to tie the artist into the community and what’s going on, and the community having some sort of ownership of the mural. ”