While walking around areas of District 7 in southwest Denver, you may just stumble upon art made by the locals. The pieces aren’t large — in fact, Councilmember Jolon Clark calls it “micro art,” small pieces of creativity to spark imagination while walking the streets of Denver.
As part of the Imagine 2020 initiative, Clark and members of District 7 created the first fairy doors along South Pearl Street in 2017. The challenge, which coincides with Denver Arts Week, gives the district a budget of $2,020 to create art.
While visiting family in Michigan a few years ago, Clark discovered several fairy door art pieces around the city of Ann Arbor. The doors inspired him to bring the project back to Denver. Michigan artist Jonathan Wright creates the doors thinking of them as real residences for fairy creatures in the area.
“I just thought it was a really cool way to engage kids and families,” Clark said. “It really engages people in art in their daily life in places that they might not expect it.”
For the same challenge last year, District 7 residents did art projects on the electric boxes along Federal Boulevard. This year, Clark decided to bring fairy doors back for the rest of District 7.
Michele Brown, an artist and resident of District 7, created the small doors and provided paint supplies and brushes for a workshop where people could paint their fairy doors on Nov. 9.
People were very creative with their doors, either matching them to the doors of their own homes, or using colorful splatters of paint, she said. Art is a way to bring people together.
“Some were really meticulous and others just had fun,” Brown said. “I love to see people get excited about art and creating.”
Clark said they had enough doors for 75 people. All but one were used during the workshop, he said.
Having fairy doors throughout the community is a way to strike the curiosity of both adults and children, Brown said. For those in the know of the project, looking for them can become like a scavenger hunt. For people out walking who just happen to come across a fairy door, it can be a nice treat.
“They’re little surprise pieces of art,” Brown said. “It’s not something people are looking for.”
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