The Babe Walls mural festival is returning to Colorado, this year in Arvada, for a four-day weekend of supporting womxn and non-binary artists.
The festival kicks off on Friday, July 15, at Balefire Goods in Olde Town Arvada, a women-owned, artisan jewelry store known for its ethical, independent and handcrafted collections.
The opening ceremony will include an art gallery exhibition featuring work by 2021 Babe Walls artists and food by Wander & Graze. It’s sponsored by brands like Epic Brewing, Pakka Seltzer, PBR and Balefire.
“We’re really excited to be partnering with the city of Arvada for this year’s celebration,” said Babe Walls founder Alexandrea Pangburn. “The location along the Ralston Creek Trail is a new venture, and we’re excited to be adding to the creativity of the city to encourage the use of this public trail.”
The opening reception also will include an art exhibition featuring Sacramento-based artist Lin Fei Fei at BRDG Project in Denver. The exhibition, “Not Your Bunny,”, is a collection of edgy (and somewhat terrifying) bunnies that represent Fei Fei and other women like herself. Born in China during the year of the bunny, Fei Fei hopes “Not Your Bunny” changes the way women are often perceived as weak or timid.
“All those in the world who feel labeled and marginalized by others need to understand that it’s OK to be a bunny on the outside, as long as you let your inner tiger drive you to success. Only through embracing what we truly are can we begin to reshape these misconceptions, achieve a true projection of who we are, and show the world there’s more to us than meets the eye,” Fei Fei wrote on her website.
Babe Walls began in November 2019 as a communal safe space for womxn and non-binary artists that grew to become an internationally recognized festival.
“Originally, we just kind of wanted to have a safe space for women and non-binary artists to be able to create art,” Pangburn said. “In its infancy, we found that the whole concept of Babe Walls was something that was much more necessary, nationally and internationally, than what we could have expected. It really just took off.”
No matter how well-known the organization has become, Pangburn also expressed the importance of connecting and partnering with the community in which it paints.
“Three of our artists are from Arvada; we really wanted to make sure that we were partnering with artists with the community that we are going into,” said Pangburn.
New to this year’s celebration is the “Future Babes” wall, a project lead by artist Alicia Cardenas, for youth artists who are eager to explore their creative sides. According to Pangburn, the wall will be available every day during the festival.
Babe Walls 2021 is featuring 15 installations and 28 artists, six of whom are from out of state. There also will be one special guest artist appearance, to be announced on Thursday, July 14. The line-up of artists includes Pangburn, Jodie Herrera, Koko Bayer, Nicole Elisa Perez and many more. Check out the 2021 artist roster here.
When visiting the Babe Walls festival, you can take pictures of the murals but it is strongly encouraged that you give credit to the artists when posting artwork to social media platforms. Artists and their social media handles can be found here.
Food vendors will not be in attendance. Babe Walls encourages patrons to head over to Old Town Arvada or nearby to grab a bite to eat. Restaurants and cafes such as Flights Wine Cafe, 303 Ramen and The Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge are all owned by women.
The festival begins on Friday, July 15, and runs through Monday, July 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. There is no current schedule for when specific artists will appear.
Ralston Creek Trail in Arvada, at Lamar Street and Ralston Road. Free. To RSVP for the opening ceremony, visit babewalls.com
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