Community college teaches students to paint real murals

2:54 PM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - Usually, if you make a mistake on a college project, no will know but you and your teacher. But, what if your project is on display, indefinitely, along Colfax Avenue in Denver?

"This is a huge project and I'm not used to it," said Sara Garber, student at the Community College of Denver. "This is the first time I've ever done anything like this."

Garber is a part of a new class at the Community of College of Denver painting a real mural on a real business without much real experience.

"I thought it would be an adventure," said Sarah Levin, student. "I've never done a mural before."

Associate Professor Sandy Guinn arranged the project in collaboration with the community leaders interested redeveloping West Colfax and the Flame Works Auto Body where the 100 foot wide mural is being painted on an alley wall.

"This is our first off-campus mural," said Guinn. "So, this is a big deal for us. We're getting out in the community."

She wants her students to see that there is a need for people with skills in creating public art.

"We talk to our art students a lot about the reality of making money as an artist," said Guinn. "This is one way to teach our students to make a valid, good living doing art."

Garber says the challenges of painting a picture outside on brick is a new challenge.

"This is house paint and I've never blended house paint before and it dries really fast," said Garber. "Besides the fact that it's huge."

Thomas Garcia, a student, says painting a real project outside is better than doing something in a classroom.

"Being here on site, I think, actually gives us that feel," said Garcia. "You have the weather working against you."

Not only is it 100 feet wide, it is 14 feet tall.

"We only have two-and-a-half hours to work at a time," said Guinn. "So, it's kind of nerve-wracking."

The mural sits in a West Denver neighborhood where graffiti is prevalent.

"So, having us do this mural and showing them that hey, you know, your art can be used in a positive way," said Garcia. "I think that's a good message."

It's a message painted on a wall near Lowell Boulevard along Colfax Avenue.

"Thousands of people bypass," said Garcia. "Colfax is one of the main veins of Colorado, so they're definitely gonna see this mural."

Guinn is happy with the result, especially from a group of students painting their first-ever mural.

"(The business) had no idea whether or not it was going to turn out this nice and so they took a risk with us," said Guinn.

Guinn says the class was supposed to be pilot project. But, CCD plans to continue the program.

"A bunch of my students asked me, so what's our next gig," said Guinn. "So, you know, I was like, I'm working on it."

Garber cannot believe she was part of something that will be a part of the community indefinitely.

"All you have to do is put hard work into something, hones labor, and it just becomes beautiful," said Garber. "So, when I'm like 30 and still in Colorado, I can drive down and day, oh my gosh, I was able to do this."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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