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A Little Art On The Side, Please


Prime real estate in one of Denver’s hottest submarkets is set to become the canvas for eight Colorado artists during the second annual Side Stories // RiNo.

Large-format film installations will grace eight exterior walls in RiNo’s Brighton Boulevard corridor for eight nights March 1-8.

Large-format film installations will grace exterior walls of buildings during Side Stories // RiNo.

More than 70 Colorado artists submitted concepts for digital works that will be projected onto each wall location. Each of the eight artists selected will receive a $5K grant to create a site-specific five-minute film loop.

“The goal for 2019 is to connect arts and our community through this immersive, engaging experience in the Brighton Boulevard area of the RiNo Art District,” said Mainspring President Fiona Arnold, the innovator behind Side Stories. Mainspring is a developer of commercial and residential properties, including Backyard on Blake in RiNo.

The eight walls are at Mountain Towers behind The Source; Denver Diesel and Radiator; Great Divide’s White Tower; Catalyst; Denver Spring/Colorado Food Trucks; Plinth Gallery; and the south and east Ardent Mills Grain Elevators.

An interactive map and audio tour will encourage people to view each installation while taking advantage of special offers from local businesses to stop for a drink, grab a bite or shop along the way.

RiNo Art District President Tracy Weil said there was a noticeable difference in more foot traffic than usual during the First Friday of the event. 

"Local businesses certainly reported back to us increased traffic last year," he said. "We intentionally chose to bring the event to the Brighton Boulevard corridor as we've seen such infrastructure improvements over the past year, and we want to highlight these changes to a larger audience, as well as support all of the businesses who make this area a vibrant and vital part of RiNo."

An interactive map and audio tour will encourage people to view each installation while taking advantage of special offers from local businesses.

The eight selected artists and themes for their works are:

  • Ella Vance: A young girl discovers a mysterious pair of glasses that take her on a fantastical journey.
  • Daniel Fickel: One woman rides a horse, the other a motorcycle. These modes of transportation lead to an exploration of their relentless love.
  • Lares Feliciano: Archival materials and found images are used to create a moving collage that coalesces into poignant and surreal cinema.
  • Brian Fouhy: Words collected through images of murals, store signs and graffiti transform RiNo’s walls into a bedtime story.
  • Brendan Young: Poetry, written and performed by Colorado’s deaf community, will be brought to life through American Sign Language.
  • Studio Hippo: Growth and transformation in RiNo will be explored through an animated illustrated map and optical illusions.
  • Kendra Fleischman: An homage to agriculture illuminates RiNo with repetitive elements and archival farming footage.
  • Chris Sessions: The wall will celebrate Charrería, the national sport of Mexico (and a precursor to rodeo) through visually rich modern-day footage. 
More than 70 Colorado artists submitted concepts for Side Stories.

"The submissions were grouped into various categories, including storytelling, historical documentation and 'new age,'" Weil said. "Through the varied lenses and backgrounds of the selection jury, we selected pieces that we thought would be diverse in their approach or subject matter, attractive to a greater audience and that highlighted creativity and thinking outside of the box."

Side Stories was created through a partnership between Mainspring, Mary Lester/Martin Family Foundation, RiNo Art District, the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media and the Denver Film Society.

“Much like CRUSH Walls brings new energy and people into the RiNo District, Side Stories showcases digital media as yet another layer within Colorado’s talented artist community,” said Weil, referring to the annual urban arts festival during which artists create large murals on the walls of buildings in RiNo.