Murals and Community On Tennyson Street
It started with a love for community, passion for the arts and one big wall.
Niya Gingerich, owner of Local 46, located at 46th and Tennyson St. and member of Tennyson Berkeley Association, had a large barren wall on the North side of her beer garden and an idea about just how to use it.
“I had that big space and always wanted to do something out there,” Gingerich said, “We just celebrated 5 years and I still hadn’t.”
Local 46 along with many other businesses along Tennyson Street host Tennyson Street Culture Walk each first Friday of every month. Many establishments put on art shows or some time type of cultural event whether it’s a gallery or not. Art is serious business on this street.
“Every first Friday we have a new artist as well and they are all local artists so we have a lot of local art on display here all the time,” Gingerich said.
It seemed only natural and right to Gingerich to have a piece of artwork painted outside on the large brick canvas that space provides. A serendipitous meeting with local friend and Alto Gallery Affiliate, Lorenzo Talcott, a plan came together to make that idea a reality.
“Lorenzo came and started showing me different projects he was involved with. I wasn’t even sure what the whole process was at that point but he mentioned muralists,” Gingerich explained.
Talcott is a Colorado Native and grew up in the Berkeley neighborhood and surrounding areas. Through his travels he had the good fortune of meeting renowned street artist, Luis Valle, in the artistic wonderland of Wynwood in Miami. He became a fervent follower of the work that Valle does and wanted to bring the magic home.
“I have a passion for art and what these guys do,” Talcott said, “It comes from following him (Valle). I really wanted to make my neighborhood like the one he grew up in.”
Valle grew up in Miami in the 80’s when street art was at it’s precipice. He attended Florida State University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and went on to earn his Masters Degree in Art from NYU. After graduate school he worked tirelessly to get his art out wherever he could. Murals and public art took on special significance for him.
“When you do murals and public art, you have thousands of people passing by the street, sometimes per day.” Valle elaborates, “You get the most amount of traffic and views of your artwork. You get a certain sort of gratification when people pass by and view it or take pictures in front of it, or make comments about how much they like it and how much it changes the neighborhood or even their lives.”
Since his graduation Valle has now completed around 75 murals. A bulk of these can be visited in an around the Winwood neighborhood in South Florida and Miami. His work can also be viewed in other states throughout the U.S. and Internationally if you should find yourself abroad. He began working in the art industry two decades ago and his career has seriously taken off in the last 5 years. And so the mural outside of Local 46 came to fruition brought together by Niya Gingerich’s dedication to community, Lorenzo Talcott’s passion for the arts, and Luis Valle’s talent and expertise.
“I had words popping into my mind: community and music and culture and diversity and acceptance. I had all these concepts that I wanted to show and Lorenzo went out and found Luis,” Gingerich said.
The collaboration was an easy fit as many of the concepts Gingerich hoped to convey in her piece are already interwoven throughout Valle’s work. According to Valle’s lifelong family friend, Johnny Loretta, they grew up in very Catholic conservative environment and spiritual thematic elements are prevalent throughout his work.
“The one thing for him that I know with his art is that it’s definitely spiritual and it’s magical. He connects to something that is bigger than just art itself and THAT is what makes him such a special dude,” Loretta said.
One of these thematic elements is conveyed through a series of dots. According to Valle these dots represent energy that turns into frequency, what physics has shown the world is composed of. Christianity and Buddhism have words that describe this frequency, this sound of the universe. He uses this pattern as a visual representation of that sound that connects everything and of unity.
As a result when Valle and Gingerich got in contact to discuss the project it was an easy decision to make and so “la Esperanza de la Naturalesa,” was born.
“I talked him through my feelings and those words and I said, “I don’t have to tell you because your art already says that in a lot of ways.” It was just perfect. Once I saw his stuff and we connected it was just the right thing,” Gingerich said.
The completed work of art is meant to be a symbol of grace and peace in a neighborhood that has experienced a lot of change and will continue to do so in the years to come. It’s a piece that will bring the neighborhood together and uplift it following the intent of Niya Gingerich, Lorenzo Talcott, and Luis Valle.
For more information about Luis Valle visit www.luisvalleart.com, follow on instagram @el_chan_guri, or on Facebook at luisvalleart.
For more information about the Tennyson Street Mural Initiative contact Lorenzo Talcott at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 301-9451.
To see the completed piece, view rotating local artwork, enjoy live music and lovely libations visit Local 46 at 4586 Tennyson St. Denver, CO 80212 or online at https://www.local46bar.com.