RiNo, more formally known as River North, has become a very trendy neighborhood in Denver. Primarily recognized as an art district featuring contemporary art galleries, the area is also known for breweries, cocktail bars, and food trucks.
Fully committed to its image, the area has even adopted the rhino as its official symbol.
RiNo used to be filled with warehouses and factories – some of which still exist – many of which have become canvases for their own beautiful and unique art.
Filled with pre-wedding jitters, we woke up too early for a Saturday and in need of an activity to distract our excited minds. And realizing RiNo would actually be quiet enough to take in some of our favorite spots, we headed out.
Focused initially, of course, on those murals that best matched the outfit choice of the day.
You know what they say – animal prints are the new neutral!
What’s amazing about RiNo is that art is literally part of any unassuming walk around the neighborhood. It’s so engrained in the area that you can’t miss the blocks upon blocks of incredible works.
Imagine the amount of effort and vision that goes into creating something of this magnitude!
Whether it’s an obvious (and necessary) message,
Or an opportunity to ponder the long road ahead, the street art in RiNo accomplishes the same reaction as many works found inside great galleries.
But don’t just look at the walls…be sure to look down and look up,
As jellyfish dance along the street,
And sharks jump up into the sky.
There’s art dedicated to opposing the changes in the area, including the prevalence of street art. (We’ve been debating whether this was done seriously or ironically. Either way, we can both agree that the artist put incredible effort into the level of detail, keeping in mind that he filled nearly 800 square feet of space.)
And poetry along the sidewalks, inspiring all of us to be the strongest of the strong and the strangest of the strange.
And then there are the ones that are just so lovely and spectacular that they instantly become one of your favorites.
As with any good art, sometimes you like something just because you see and it invokes in you some sort of unexplainable emotion.
Or memories of places and times you love, like D.C.’s cherry blossoms and the colors so familiar to one of Colorado’s truly wonderful sunsets.
Sometimes it’s just fun to see how an artist juxtaposes the delicateness of pink and white falling flowers against the fierceness of a wild beast. Whatever your motivation, you’ll be sure to find something that inspires you or, at the very least, makes you leave thinking “that was pretty cool.”
Even better, many of the businesses have fully adopted the area’s aesthetic. For example, one of our favorite food markets, Denver Central Market, has perfected the relationship between historical industry and modern art.
But the real piece de resistance rests right around the corner. Our very own Shepard Fairey creation. For those new to the street art scene (as we admittedly are), Shepard Fairey is most well-known for creating the Barack Obama “Hope” poster, featured during the 2008 presidential election, but his street art appears on buildings throughout the world.
A very cool way to spend a morning – do you get the picture?