Connecting Communities through Public Art | An Interview with Detour
Public art adds vibrancy, cultural impact, and ultimately promotes economic vitality in our urban core. Murals, sculptures, projection mapping, and everything in between create moments of awe and inspiration in unexpected places; making our lives brighter and a little better.
The newest addition to Downtown Denver’s public art scene is an energetic and colorful depiction of community musical artist, Kayla Marque, created by Detour, otherwise known as Thomas Evans. The new mural has added even more life to the already-colorful pop-up park The Outer Space @ 16th & Welton. Thank you to the VF Foundation for a generous contribution that made this mural possible.
Hear from Detour directly about the importance and impact of the new mural in this Q&A:
Tell us about the inspiration behind the mural.
- Detour: My inspiration for creating this mural design was to create a mural that added as much color to the space while showcasing a fantastic Denver Resident and musician, from the community. I decided to feature my friend, Kayla Marque, who is heavily involved in the local music scene. She recently released an album with her Band, The Grand Alliance, that is absolutely amazing. Because of Welton street’s history in being a magnet for musical talent all across the world, I thought I would be fitting to add such an amazing talent to the mix. I truly wanted this mural to have local representation and honor the music scene that was influenced by the Five Points Neighborhood.
Why is it important to have this type of artwork downtown?
- Detour: It’s important to have artwork that connects communities together. The historical Five Points neighborhood has been instrumental in helping to grow the creative talents in Denver. Public art can illuminate that information and shine a light on how instrumental the Five Points neighborhood has been in Denver’s History. Public art can at the same time shine a light at the current talent that Five Points has as well. This in turn sparks people’s interest in discovering the Five Points neighborhood and building with its community.
How does this mural connect to other pieces you’ve done?
- Detour: Many of my mural pieces are about community and representation. I love how viewers discover people in their community that they didn’t know existed. Because the subjects I paint are from the community, people appreciate the art more because they have a close connection with it. This mural is an extension of them.
Anything else you want to add?
- Detour: I try to share my journey as a full-time artist by providing a behind-the-scenes look. If you with to follow the journey, please follow on Instagram at (@detour303) or on YouTube at YouTube.com/iamdetour.