Meet the woman bringing a world-renowned street art festival to Denver-5280

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Meet the woman bringing a world-renowned street art festival to Denver-5280

In an alley behind Denver Central Market, a painted 10-by-20-foot wall depicts the face of hip-hop artist Sa-Roc, surrounded by organic lines in black and white. The piece may not seem all that special, being one of dozens in mural-filled RiNo, but savvy art seekers know it holds a secret.

“I Am Her” (pictured) was created by Ally Grimm, a street artist who goes by the pseudonym AL Grime. She created the mural for Crush Walls 2020, and when viewed on a smartphone through the Artivive app, the piece plays the rapper’s music, its painted lines dance and the eyes wink.

This fall, Grimm, 30, will exhibit the same cutting-edge mix of street art and technology at the debut of Denver Walls (Sept. 22-26) — a branch of Hawaii-based Worldwide Walls, which beautifies cities, connects talent, and nourishes communities on about street art. As the director of the Colorado event, Grimm plans to commission 12 to 15 pieces from local and international artists that will decorate walls in RiNo and other areas not only with paint, but also with hidden virtual experiences. “Thematically, my work is about the intersection of humanity and technology,” says Grimm, whose digitally enhanced murals often feature women, music and science. “So it felt natural and organic to me to implement that kind of crossover into the festival as well.”

Along with spotting new interactive work (as well as traditional murals) from Grimm and others, visitors with an Ethereum cryptocurrency wallet can participate in a scavenger hunt to find free non-swampable tokens—in this case, blockchain-verified souvenirs – embedded in places near the art. “So you have this memento to remember that you visited the walls during Denver Walls,” Grimm says. Guests will also wander through a virtual sculpture garden; invisible to the naked eye, the pieces can only be accessed via illust.space, a web-based platform.

Grimm hopes the event will broaden people’s understanding of the medium she loves. “In my mind, street art actually refers to [everything from] murals to street photography to street wear, because it’s walking, living art,” says Grimm. “And my definition also extended to digital art, because it can live anywhere seamlessly. [I just want] to help show that the boundary of what is defined as ‘art’ is really much wider than people understand.”

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