It’s a Tuesday morning on Larimer Street in Denver. The once-bustling thoroughfare is now marked with boarded-up windows. It sounds like a depressing scene, but look closer and you’ll find many of these windows have been touched up with splashes of color and positive messages to the community.
Here I find Denver artist Patrick Kane McGregor, busy working on a new mural outside of local bar and restaurant Meadowlark. “They’ve supported me over the years, so I’m painting their window coverings,” says McGregor. “This is kind of a small thing I can do to help them out.”
A local artist uses murals to spread positive messages.
This is McGregor’s second post-Covid mural. “I kind of got the idea from another restaurant…when this first started they called me to paint their window.” His first mural can be found outside of downtown restaurant Pony Up. It depicts the owners’ French bulldog wearing a mask and the words “Stay Safe Denver. We Love You, We’ll Be Back” next to it.
McGregor’s second mural is similar. It depicts his own bulldog, his muse, also wearing a mask. He explains, “the message in this painting is basically to raise awareness to wear a mask…It’s something better to look at than a white board.” He adds, “and I get to get out of the house and paint a little bit.”
While McGregor was painting his first mural at Pony Up, he noticed that the restaurant was giving free food to fellow restaurant industry workers. He was inspired to do something more to help. He partnered with local print shop Like Minded Productions to create prints of his work. The proceeds from these prints are going to support a few local businesses.
Despite having to put some projects and travel plans on hold, McGregor notes, “there’s definitely positives that came out of this. People come out and show their best side usually. There’s a lot of people helping each other, that kind of only happens when you have something like this going on. It brings out the best in people.”