Denver artist turns photographs into stunning murals

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DENVER (KDVR) — It’s a challenge to miss the huge, bright murals around the greater Denver area depicting ordinary people who have drawn the attention of an aspiring artist quickly gaining popularity across the nation. Thomas “Detour” Evans creates the murals that soar to the roofs of office buildings and warehouses, astoundingly colorful and always with a simple message that says, “everyone is special.”

Evans, who has created murals in other cities including Minneapolis, tells FOX31 he wants the public to stop and consider that everyone makes a unique contribution.

“They too are beautiful, you know, they can be on a wall,” he said.

Detour’s latest mural near 23rd and Arapahoe streets in Denver pays tribute to teachers and acknowledges the challenges they’ve faced throughout history and during the pandemic. Others have since painted touching messages of support at the bottom of the mural.     

“It was just like, ‘Let’s just pay homage to the teachers out there.’ A lot of people gravitated to that because it was like showing some love,” he said.  

Aurora West College Preparatory Academy teacher Brittany Antoinette is the subject of the mural.

She tells FOX31 she truly appreciates Detour’s message.

“I can’t believe my face is on the side of a building,” she said.

Unlike some artists, Detour doesn’t employ an agent; in fact, his marketing plan is quite simple.

“I just say, ‘Hey, can I paint your wall?’” he said.

When asked if there is one thing he wants those who view his artwork to remember, Detour says everyone should realize their value. 

“I think everyone has that kind of special light inside of them. They’re not always celebrities, athletes or anything — regular people like you or I,” he said.

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