Self-taught artist Pat Milbery grew up in Minnesota, though considers Colorado his home. Before “Love This City,” he had already created a number of art projects throughout the city of Denver, including the “Colfax is for Lovers” alley cat on the side of the Lost Lake Lounge, and he is also the co-owner of So-Gnar collective.
Milbery had long dreamed of creating a piece of public art that would representative his love of Denver. To make this happen, he worked with VISIT DENVER, who commissioned Milbery’s piece to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Denver Arts Week.
To create the mural, Milbery (always been a big supporter of collaborative works) brought in fellow So-Gnar creative Jason Graves. Graves designed the piece, which went through many iterations as the pair focused on aligning the artwork with the character of the neighborhood. The mural was subsequently painted by Milbery, Graves, Remington Robinson, and Pat McKinney, finished just in time for Denver Arts Week.
The mural’s meaning might seem a straightforward, expressive scrawl, its images are also very intentionally placed and packed with meaning.
The geometric heart, central to the image, represents the different layers of love. Milbery explains, “The different tones of color express the different stages of being in love and the feeling of when you love your heart can project. Love is a very simple concept yet can become very complex and layered.”
As for the birds, Milbery goes on to say that, “Birds are free flowing, gliding creatures of the sky who have the ability to spread our message higher than most throughout our beautiful blue, one-of-a-kind Colorado skies. Sometimes we need nature to help teach us to respect the evolution of our planet and fly high through love.”
Above all else, the mural is meant to feel good. Milbery believes that “In a time of great division here in America, our effort as artists to provide a message of love and hope is more important than ever. We can only hope it will resonate with each and every person who comes across our art and affects them in a positive way.”
Be sure to visit the “Love This City” mural at 7th and Santa Fe.