Atmosphere

Pop Art

Three Denver artists bring their nontraditional work to the masses.

May 2009

Artist: Jim Green
Medium: Sound
Tools: Digital recorders, amplifiers
Jim Green's installations are scattered all over Denver—you just can't see them. Instead, you might hear an escalator chortling at its passengers in the Convention Center, sinks in the Denver Art Museum singing for patrons, or sidewalk grates on Curtis Street coughing up sounds of bawling livestock as you walk to the Denver Performing Arts Center. Green started tinkering with "sound art" in Boulder in the '80s and likens his playful, interactive projects to writing with sound. In the works: talking parking meters in Stapleton.

Artists: Your Name in Graffiti
Medium: Aerosol
Tools: Scaffolding, spray-paint cans
The words "tagging" and "graffiti" might conjure images of wayward teens defacing property, but the artists of the group Your Name in Graffiti are trying to change that rep with their elaborate murals on certain city buildings. Formed in 2006, the group combines its passion for everything aerosol with artistic advocacy. To wit: When the artists were awarded Denver's first public art commission for aerosol-painted murals at the Globeville public pool in 2007, they set up an after-school program to teach drawing techniques and educate folks on the art form's history.

Artist: David Mitchell
Medium: Trees
Tools: Chainsaws, chisels, sanders, varnish
When Front Range storms and old age bring Denver's trees to the ground, David Mitchell revs up his chainsaw. Over the past 18 years, the painter and snow sculptor has transformed some 200 stumps bound for the shredder into colossal works of art, including a 40-foot-long diving woman and a 16-foot harp. Power tools in hand, Mitchell carves the trees—preferably hardwood oaks or maples—into figures such as boulevard angels, incorporating gnarled knots into his designs.