Murals, Meaning, and whatever happened to Diego Rivera

Having recently come back from a trip to Italy, it’s an understandment to say that I viewed my share of murals, frescoes and public art. There is a sweet pleasantness to public art (or art that simply happens to wind up out in the open) once it has weathered many years and become a part of the very landscape of a city. This weekend I had an engaging conversation with friends as we walked down a gallery-dotted street in Denver about public art–its relevance, its meaning and its ultimate “effect” on, well, the public. In the realm of art that is created for “the public” I tend to be drawn to art that has a level of functionality–pieces that encourage one to drawn close, sit, touch, become a part of its eventual patina. How do we involve the public in the creation of art without creating a contrived piece? These are some things I wonder about lately and am learning much about in my new role here in Boulder as Library & Arts Director. How do we saturate our communities and still be open, non-didactic, and original. Ah, nothing better than a chilly night stroll from an art gallery to warm the brain and imagination.

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