DENVER – After organizing a clean-up of Civic Center Park in midst of civil unrest and protests during the summer of 2020, artist Robert Gray saw an opportunity. The idea was to showcase local Black art on wood panels protecting statues throughout the Park.
Now in its second year, Black Love Mural Festival highlights messages of Black empowerment and Black identity.
“It’s about love for the Black community, Black culture, Black education, Black athletes, Black neighborhoods. We never want to be the type that says, 'I don’t see color.' We want to make sure we’re the type to see color, recognize the beauty that it provides,” says Gray, the founder and curator of BLMF.
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This year, with the help from Annie Philips of IRL Art, the festival has gone from 20 artists to over 60 artists, creating art focused on love, community and social justice.
“This event’s been life changing for me just as an arts organizer to realize that so many of my skills could be applied to a community that has so often just been underrepresented and under supported,” says Philips.
The murals will be on display in Civic Center Park from now until Aug. 2.