Saturday, August 31, 2013

Colorfax Mural Dedication...

Many thanks to all my friends who joined us in a community gathering to celebrate our first Colorfax mural! An enthusiastic group of folks assembled on Wednesday evening in front this colorful wall for a short hoorah and to marvel at the efforts of those who came together to make this happen. Enjoy a snapshot of images, and long live Colorfax!


* That's me at the parking lot podium, talking with my arms :)


* An assembly of local supporters, some of whom helped us paint this beauty, arrived with smiles on a balmy August evening...


* That's Bill Marino - 40 West Arts District's Board Chair & Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District's Executive Director - waving around my Colorfax decals!


* After the mural was completed, I tweaked the Colorfax logo, adding movement and flare by angling the graphic green box, adding some curves and dropping the tag line below the main image. I like it even more! Many thanks to Dan Lundin of Banner Signs for printing up these complimentary decals! They created quite the buzzzz, and were gone in a flash! It's been fun for me to tap back into my graphic design roots, and create an iconic image with a mission to rejuvenate the Colfax corridor!


* Bill Marino offers praise and thanks to the owners of the King's Rest Motel for their support and accommodating spirit!


* I spoke about how I developed the mural and logo and the synergetic hummingbird symbolism.....


* Looks like somebody made me laugh :)


* And then Mayor Bob Murphy joined us to speak about his appreciation for this unique project...


* Clearly he was and is excited about Colorfax!


* And Lonnie Hanzon, local artist extraordinaire and good friend joined us to celebrate this project. He helped me paint the hummingbird on paint day.....


* We had to snap a pic of Jerry Redwine - proud owner of this whimsically painted wall - standing with our Mayor!


* Lastly, we strung a ribbon across the wall and cut it in a moment of silly commemoration!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

PROJECT: Colorfax!

The time has come to introduce you to PROJECT: Colorfax! As the artist representative board member for the emerging 40 West Arts District, I recently dreamt up a community arts project to Rejuvenate West Colfax Avenue via Vibrant Art! With the concept where COLOR meets COLFAX, JP and I bounced off some ideas, and we decided to call it "Colorfax!" And, well, the rest is history! As these ideas were flowing, a local business owner suggested that 40 West Arts District paint the west side of his 70+ year old motel. I jumped at the idea as it posed the perfect canvas for our inaugural mural. With a myriad of windows, dotting the wall, I decided to feature a creeping vine and trumpet flower theme. The only missing element was a bird. With vibrant color on my mind, it was only natural to incorporate a hummingbird within my initial sketch. And, suddenly, we both knew that the hummer was the perfect choice to create that buzzzzz! From there, the bird imagery morphed into this program's icon, and I created the "Colorfax" logo, blending the hummingbird design with a hand-lettered font. Mind you, all of this has manifested over the past 2 months. It has been a juggling act, creating my Halloween folk art while dreaming about hummingbirds buzzing down Colfax and revitalizing the corridor! Fortunately, my mural concept came to life this weekend! A crew of enthusiastic artists and volunteers spent yesterday with us, filling in my lines and bringing color to the west wall of the King's Rest Motel! It was a lovely day to paint together, creating colorful memories and building a better community in the process. Passers-by that frequent this stretch of Colfax are noticing the change, and remarking with delight in the whimsical spirit of a wall once stale and forgotten. It's amazing what art and a group of like-minded individuals can accomplish for a community in need of a little TLC! Enjoy the photos... May the BUZZ begin....

~ Johanna


* Those of you that frequent my blog and Facebook Page will recall that I recently captured images of hummingbirds in our garden! The significance of this was quite stunning as these delightful little hummers started frequenting our flowers in exuberance, AFTER I designed the Colorfax mural & logo! We rarely see them in our front range Colorado garden, but the interesting thing is that some our 40 West friends have recently spotted them in their yards too! It's serendipitous perhaps and a special sign.


* Getting back to the mural, I directed the first few volunteers to fill in the stylized clouds....


* As wispy clouds wafted overhead in the sky, Lori Fanning-Kipp added clouds to the wall...


* Clouds above and clouds below, were billowing behind the windows as if they were drifting in a different dimension... At least, that's how I explained my vision to Karlanne Sinkovik and Carol Lundin!


* I caught a break and started on the base pink of the hummingbird's wings.....


* And, Dan Lundin and Bill Marino started applying the rolling green vines... JP brought along strips of recycled carpet padding so to add a little cushion to the 'ol knees! I think they appreciated that!


* We had just the right amount of helpers to make this composition happen! What a relief that was, as this was my first community mural effort...


* More and more clouds began to build, thanks to Judy Cybuch....

The motel owners kindly prepped the wall surface for us, skimming stucco overtop old brick. They also prepped the parking lot, adding tarps, and caution paint for obstacles and ruts in the surface.... Thank you Brian Derry & Jerry Redwine at the King's Rest! They were so very welcoming...


* After the first hour, the designs were really starting to take shape! Thanks to JP, all of our paint brushes stayed spiffy clean, as he washed them one after another throughout the day...


* Then, a Laura Phelps-Rogers and her husband Carl Rogers arrived to help refine the lines and tighten my swirls!


* Red trumpet flowers began to bloom thanks to Carrie Mesch...


* All the while, I juggled a little directing, mixed paint for clouds, applied hues to the big bird while answering that perennial question: ''what can I do?" especially from Todd Lansing, pictured at right :)


* 40 West Artist Nan Lund was a great help in filling in the lines with color!


* Tya Anthony dotted the wall with various dragonflies, and also took some great photos of the event. You can enjoy her photos at:  Tya Anthony's Flickr Page 


* As the composition started to develop more, I had a chance to tighten up the vine lines, while Lonnie Hanzon added detail to the giant hummingbird... Many thanks also to Dave Ruchman, Lori Ennis and of course Julie Byerlein for helping us complete this magical project through paint and smiles!


* And finally, we called it a wrap! Shortly thereafter, the guys from the King's Rest appeared and posed for a photo in front of their rejuvenated wall! The owner, Jerry Rewine (2nd from the left) was all smiles! Well, all the fellas had smiles :)


* And then I snuck in next to Jerry along with Carrie Mesch and Bill Marino, fellow 40 West board members, to document the big day!


* JP and I went back today to touch up a few elements, emphasize the styled line work in the clouds, brighten the reds and finalize the last of the details. The last two steps are adding our sponsor logos: Kwal Paint and 40 West, and add a coat of UV resistant clear barrier. THEN, we can check this off our list and cross our fingers that it brings much inspiration to the community... Thank you Kwal Paint for donating all the paints and many of our supplies!


* And of course, it's always a delight to see the before and after......

Long live "Colorfax"!!!!