City pays artists to create murals as part of graffiti prevention program

DENVER -- Artists from Colorado are getting paid to paint on neighborhood streets and walls.

It's something Denver's Arts and Venue Department started almost 10 years ago. Blocks all over the city are filled with the masterpieces.

“I think it’s great,” Scott Kessel said.

The artwork can be seen off the Cherry Creek Trail, under viaducts and in various neighborhoods.

Photo: KDVR

“The creativity, and it’s different than most art you see,” Bridget McCann said.

The work is funded by the city.

“Our hope is to curb graffiti and vandalism in the city of Denver, by hiring artists to beautify sections of Denver that have been tagged with graffiti," said Mary Valdez with Denver's Urban Arts Fund.

It's part of Denver's graffiti prevention program. The idea is if more of the murals are up, less graffiti will be around.

“Kind of make the area feel a little more safe, and more pleasing to the eye,” Valdez said.

After nine years of planning and painting, the murals have made a difference.

“Yes, it has curbed down on tagging,” Valdez said.

Local artists get paid to beautify their backyard.

“I do feel proud and excited that I get to add to landscape of Denver,” artist Sandra Fettingis said.

“It really ignites down here on the Cherry Creek path, it really brightens it up. I think with a lot of different artistic work that individuals are doing,” Kessel said.

The city will begin accepting new applications near the start of 2018.