Article by: Amy Hutcheson
Black Sky Brewery is one of our very first and most loved advertising sponsors for Resident Rock Star Magazine. We wouldn’t have been able to make it as far as we have without the help and support of the awesome owners Harry and Lila Mackey and their amazing staff! Black Sky Brewery is truly our home away from home, and one of the most iconic and memorable parts of the brewery is its amazing murals! It’s hard to miss the building on the corner of 5th and Santa Fe in Denver, Colorado, featuring a gigantic mural including several tags and an image of Eddy from Iron Maiden. This building is just one of the amazing buildings in the Art District featuring on-of-a-kind works of art on its exterior. Recently the iconic mural featuring a likeness of Eddy (Iron Maiden’s famous mascot), was painted over by a group of local artists with images of the Joker and Harley-Quin. Two iconic characters from the recent release “Suicide Squad.” This seemed to upset some of the patrons who frequent the brewery and have come to love the metal inspired graffiti on the 5th street wall. Why was the mural painted over? We decided to find out, so we asked brewery owner Lila Mackey what the new paint job was all about.
“The name of the artist is Robin Munro, aka “Dread”, and he is part of the Colorado Crush Artists. They’ve been painting this wall since before we got the building.” says Lila. “We let them do whatever they want. Nobody messes with their art, generally. It deters graffiti on the building and is good for the neighborhood.”
The whole neighborhood is decorated this way. Most buildings in the area on Santa Fe sport some kind of wall mural. “It’s a bunch of different artists who have ties to the neighborhood or grew up here,” says Lila. “they do an annual event, but the artists are active all year.”
You can find these artists on their Facebook page, Coloradocrushwalls. On their page they state, “Crush celebrates art, urban beautification, creativity, and culture by enriching the community through an arts festival like no other. The Crush believes public art leads to urban development and an improved community. Public art can be a catalyst for safety, cleanliness, curb-appeal, creativity, growth, and business interest.”
The group is centered around “empowering artists’ creativity, and is committed to reflecting and diversifying the urban landscape and the unique voice of the community by bringing art out of the galleries and into the streets…the RiNo (River North) Art District defines itself as a community ‘Where Art is Made’ and Crush celebrates the craft of graffiti and street artists who bring life to Denver’s walls while maintaining the unique cultural identity in this rapidly evolving community.”
The group transforms streets and alleys into open-air galleries. The goal of the group is to “attract positive attention to the neighborhood by transforming local businesses and adding character to store fronts and surrounding walls with colorful, creative murals.” The group describes itself as “Creative Rituals Under Social Harmony.” The group also “raises awareness of the cultural significance and the importance of art to low-income youth and multi-cultural groups which may not have the opportunity to experience art otherwise.” The group offers art education through this urban landscape and is the largest street art and graffiti festival in the area. You can find out more about the Crush and even get involved yourself by visiting coloradocrush.org