Surj featured in the media for his piece
Surj putting some finishing touches on his mural
One of the reasons that people in this post-postmodern world respond so passionately to outdoor art is its ephemeral. It will not be there forever, reminding us of our own fleeting existence. The Denver art installation, ‘Duct Work', a massive mural project just finished in the viaduct space under I-70 at 46th Avenue and York Street, is doomed: When the I-70 expansion development finally starts, the art will go. In the meantime, it’s reinvigorated a unique urban spot in Denver. “We want to make sure we get the whole viaduct painted ultimately, so we’re going to have lots of chances for more artists,” says project organizer Kendall Peterson of CIG, who worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation as well as Urban Arts Fund chair Mary Valdez and Morgan Hartley of the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative to produce this massive urban-art project. Both Peterson and Valdez have been working on getting homegrown artists bigger and better-paying gigs every year. To find the artists for ‘Duct Work, Peterson reached out to Project Colfax curator Yianni Bellis as well as Birdseed Collective’s Anthony Garcia, with whom she’d worked on other mural projects on CDOT property. Together they enlisted 28 artists for this cause. But before the artists could get to work, ‘Duct Work organizers scrubbed off years of caked-on pigeon-nesting mess, then mounted spikes to discourage future pigeon traffic. After that, the artists got to work, producing beautiful art in a space where observers can enjoy it. This gritty new urban gallery is a beautiful addition to the local scene. Relish it while you can!