Artists paint boarded-up businesses to promote social justice
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Artists in Denver are taking part in a nationwide movement to turn boarded-up businesses into statements in support of protests against racial inequality and police brutality.

Colorado Voices

Boarded up Art

2:47
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Artist are transforming boarded up business downtown.

“You’re walking every day and everything is boarded up, it’s not a very good feeling to walk around seeing that. And if you walk up to a beautiful mural, it might change your mood a little bit,” artist Armina Jususagic said.

The Instagram account BoardsForChange helped launch the effort in cities all over the country. Artists are turning the boards on businesses, many closed by the COVID-19 pandemic, into murals supporting Black Lives Matter and memorializing George Floyd.

“Art is a powerful thing, it’s been used for social justice for centuries,” artist Karlee Mariel said as she painted Floyd’s face on to a board outside the former Sports Authority building in Capitol Hill. “The opportunity to paint on something this large is wonderful… How often is it that there’s this quantity of available canvases around the city to paint on?”

The artists said they did not seek permission from building owners before painting the boards because the plywood will eventually be taken down.

“It’s temporary … we take the risk and do it. And if we get caught for it, whatever, I think it’s for the greater cause,” Mariel said. “I think all artists should take advantage of this, in my opinion.”

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