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  • Where to Shop, See Art, and Sip Hot Cocoa According to the Brain Behind Babe Walls

    Alexandrea Pangburn, the creator of a new mural festival for women and non-binary artists, reveals her local sources of inspiration.

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    Even if you don’t know Alexandrea Pangburn’s name, you likely know her murals: The 31-year-old painted the elk welcoming guests to Edgewater Public Market and, along with fellow local artist Romelle, the crane on Il Posto in Five Points. Now, following a 2019 stint as CRUSH Walls’ creative director, Pangburn is launching Babe Walls, a four-day mural festival in Westminster showcasing female and nonbinary artists. The paint hits the walls on August 13; in the meantime, here’s what fuels the former vet tech’s imagination.

    Alexandrea Pangburn with her Il Posto crane. Photo by Sarah Boyum

    Kaitlin Ziesmer

    To help run Babe Walls, Pangburn recruited five local artists she admired as co-founders—including Ziesmer, known for her kooky animal-human hybrid paintings. “I’m inspired by her work ethic and organization,” Pangburn says. “And her color palette is so fun.”

    Denver Museum of Nature & Science

    Before moving to Golden in 2017, Pangburn worked as a vet tech in Ohio and painted portraits of her patients. Today, she’s inspired by the animals preserved in DMNS’ wildlife hall. “It gives me a sense of their fur texture, their eyes, how they might move,” Pangburn says. “I try to capture that emotion in my pieces.”

    “Sunset Snaffle” by Alexandrea Pangburn. Photo courtesy of Alexandrea Pangburn

    South Table Mountain

    Pangburn used the cacti-studded mesa above Golden as the backdrop for her series Women of the West, paintings depicting the women who made frontier life possible.

    American Museum of Western Art

    The Central Business District museum displays 300-plus privately owned depictions of Native Americans, settlers, and frontier land—such as “Red Hills, Grey Sky” by Georgia O’Keefe, beloved by Pangburn for her sensual interpretations of the Southwest. anschutzcollection.org

    Photo courtesy of Coburn Huff

    ReRoot

    “I’m drawn to the juxtaposition between life and death,” Pangburn says. Her workshop conveys as much: Plants and flowers—many from ReRoot, a houseplant boutique that recently moved from RiNo to Five Points—sit beside a taxidermic pheasant and an assortment of beaver skulls. Her favorite piece of the bunch? A cow skull she found in Kentucky, then cleaned, bleached, and preserved herself.

    Hot Cocoa

    Pangburn sips this rich drink nearly every morning. “I’m basically five years old,” she jokes. The connoisseur likes DC/AM at the Ramble Hotel’s milky take and the sweeter version from Strong, Smart & Bold Beans, run by nonprofit Girls Inc., which fosters young women’s creativity.

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