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Saturday 26 September 2020

Crush Walls 2020 & RiNo Street Art

Lat weekend the kids and I spent a day in Denver's RiNo neighborhood checking out the annual Crush Walls street art festival.

By now, you'll know I'm a big street art fan. You won't need to look back far through the archives to see that as my last post was also about a street art festival. Ha! Actually, this is our third street art festival in just a few months. 

Anyway, Crush Walls is an annual festival that takes part in Denver's River North, or RiNo, arts district every September since 2010. I had been worried that it would be canceled this year due to Covid, so it was a pleasant surprise when I read that it was still going ahead - with masks and social distancing, of course. The festival features events throughout the week culminating in the main event on the weekend. We attended on the Sunday. I always like to go to these sorts of things a little later as we get to see more finished pieces. 

Let's take a look at all the color and fun of Crush Walls 2020 - plus a lot of other murals that we checked out in RiNo. 

With any event that involves people congregating, public safety is of utmost importance right now. I was pleased to see that most people at the festival were in masks and keeping their distance from others. Outdoor seating was all spaced 6 feet apart, and indoor food areas, such as the Denver Central Market, did not allow indoor dining. Food trucks on site, as well as the indoor locations where we purchased food all had contactless payment options available. Can I just say, that the move to more electronic payment options here in the US has been a great side effect of Covid! We're finally catching up to the rest of the world! Anyway, back to the masks... While Mathilde and Lola took their masks off for some photos with murals, you'll see that they're holding them in their hands and they very quickly went back on again.

As you may have noticed in the pictures above, there were quite a few murals with a social justice theme. I love that many of these were colorful and kid friendly while still sending a strong message. 

Of course, there were some that were colorful but not quite so kid friendly! This one did get a LOT of laughs from my kids though!

There were plenty of murals that were just fun and colorful. There may have been a message but we just loved the colors!

There were lots of little details to be found if you look harder too.

My favorite things about street art festivals is watching the artists in action. Unlike other street art festivals we've been to many of the mural areas here were off limits to visitors while the artists were working. This meant that we couldn't get as close to some as we'd like, but it gave the artists plenty of space to work without people underfoot. 

Speaking of artists at work, check out these two! Crush Walls features a few kid friendly activities including kids' wheat pasting on the Saturday. We missed out on that one but the kids still got to add their mark to a painting. Lola drew some tiny cats and squiggles with paint markers and Mathilde painted a house, cave, bat, pumpkin, flower, person... I'm sure there was more that I missed. She was painting for quite a long time - while Lola and I sat down to eat street tacos. 

While the new murals were the attraction of the festival, there were yet more murals in the area to appreciate. Some of these are from past Crush Walls festivals while others are just random pieces of work. Some of these may have actually been from this year's festival, so if you spot one below that I've got wrong, make sure to let me know.

If you're interested in checking out the murals from Crush Walls you can find a map here. Seriously though, just take a walk around the RiNo district and you'll find a ton of amazing art on display.

Have you been to a street art festival before? I love that we have so many of them here in Colorado.

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