Doing the DAB

Doing the DAB

Photo: Artist Nia Sturr works on her mural at the Durango Arts Center in October 2020./ Photo by Scott DW Smith, Imagesmith Photo


Looking to add your artistic touch to city streets via perfectly legal means? The Durango Art Brigade (DAB) has announced it will be continuing its popular pop-up public art initiative this summer. The program was launched last summer by the Durango Creative District with cooperation from the City of Durango, Dumpster Beautification Project, Local First and Durango Business Improvement District. Started in response to the pandemic, the goal was to provide an outlet for local artists, give youth a valuable real-world experience and offer people a reason to get out and enjoy downtown while supporting local businesses.

“Public art fosters community pride and a sense of belonging,” Durango Creative District Executive Director Hayley Kirkman said. “This can be a powerful tool to be more inclusive in art displays while providing an equitable and intriguing way for people to experience it.” 

Last year, the program brought 11 public art installations downtown, including a colorful redo of the newspaper boxes of yours truly, a large quilt to encourage voting, and a pop-up “community art kitchen.”

All of the projects can be viewed at www.du rangocreativedistrict.org/brigade. (The projects  were also featured in a Rocky Mountain PBS segment filmed by local videographer Scott DW Smith, which can be seen at: tinyurl.com/ 5t9dd4b4.)

Currently, the DAB has 17 sites listed for potential beautification, including but not limited to: indoor hanging installations, outdoor murals, “green spaces” in downtown bump-outs, chalk art, and paintings. Community members are also invited to submit their own ideas to the DAB.

Artists interested in lending their talents can view the list of available projects and apply at www.durangocreativedistrict.org/brigade. The program is open to artists of all calibers, backgrounds and abilities, and artists will receive stipends for materials and time. Dependent upon project type, artists can earn between $50-$500  and be reimbursed up to $400 for materials. 

Buy hurry, deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Fri., April 30. 

The DAB is primarily funded through the City’s Creative Economy Commission but is seeking sponsorships and grants to add to its pool of funding. If you’re interested in donating, www.durangocreativedistrict.org/brigade.

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