Student artists beautify The Perk Downtown with new Colorado-themed mural


  • Courtesy The Perk Downtown
Over the last few years, the Colorado Springs downtown corridor has seen some major artistic enhancements. The Art on the Streets initiative has set up sculptures and decorated traffic boxes, and Concrete Couch has contributed mosaic artwork with an eye on community-building. Now, another entity is working to make its mark on Downtown: UCCS’ Art and Art History Club.

The club has set out to paint a new mural (to be completed this weekend) on the side of The Perk Downtown, a coffee shop in the middle of Downtown. The theme is “Colorado Beauty” and is meant to convey some iconic aspects of Colorado, such as Garden of the Gods and the Colorado flag, through an abstract style.

Painted entirely by student artists, the mural will be revealed during November’s First Friday festivities, (Nov. 3), but those interested in seeing these students’ work before the unveiling have another art event to look forward to.

Location Details The Perk Downtown
14 S. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO
Coffee Shop and Coffee/Tea

An exhibition of artistic studies related to the Perk mural will be presented in Colorado Beauty, featuring the work of student members of the Art and Art History Club. The exhibition opens Oct. 20, 6-8 p.m. at UCCS’ Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities.

To learn more about the mural, see the full press release from The Perk Downtown below:

Colorado Springs, Colorado – October 1, 2017– Armed with paint, passion and a pride for art, college students have volunteered to show what Colorado beauty means to them at The Perk Downtown.

The Perk Downtown and students from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs have joined together to further enrich the artistic community of Downtown Colorado Springs. Not only that, the students gain invaluable experience through the joint effort.

Jemma Brock, student and co-president of UCCS’ Art History and Art Club, which is painting the mural along with six of its members for the next two weekends, said she is excited for the project to happen downtown.

“It’s a chance to give back to Colorado Springs in a way that I have not been able to do yet,” She said. She also said that she is glad UCCS is getting representation and feels that Colorado College “gets a lot of exposure.”

Kristine Henrich, who serves as co-president along Brock, said she was excited to paint at The Perk.

“I really like that Colorado Springs is growing as an art community.” She said. “Being a part of that gives me a sense of community.

Henrich said the theme of the project, which is Colorado Beauty, is being painted in an abstract style, hoping to invoke more emotion that way.

“When we all sat down, I told everybody to come up with a theme that captured Colorado beauty,” she said. “Everyone came back with Garden of the Gods and the Colorado Flag.”

She also said that more Colorado details will be incorporated into the painting, but that would have to be saved for the final revealing during November’s First Friday.

Both Brock and Henrich said that the concepts for the final project will be incorporated into a showing at The Heller Center, a UCCS art gallery, east of Trader Joes on North Nevada Avenue. The concepts will be shown from October 20th to the 22nd.

Corey Drieth, co-director of UCCS’ Visual Arts Program and advisor to the Art History and Art Club, said the club members spearheaded the project.

“They’ve taken it on completely themselves,” he said. “The whole thing is really theirs.”

Drieth said that business owners don’t often reach out for art projects like this one. He explained the club was looking for a project, and that’s when The Perk happened to reach out.

“This was just really good timing” he said.

Drieth also said the students get several opportunities out of the project.

“First and foremost, they learn the business of working with a client.” He said. They also get to learn about price negotiations between client and customer and what the final product should be.

Drieth excitedly said the project gave UCCS a path to branch out in to the community.

“We’re not downtown, we’re up on the bluff,” he said, explaining it was harder to build community with that distance.

“It’s great to see our students actually get work downtown,” Drieth said. “To engage in the cultural acts of the city is really important for the students.”

Don Heaberlin, owner of The Perk Downtown, said the project gave students something unique.

“This gives the student artists a local outlet to display their talents and creativity. Many times, students who are just starting out in their life path just need someone or an outlet to display their talents,” he said.

“There are other venues for artists but we wanted to focus on local artists from the local universities who are just starting to hone their skills and give them an opportunity to show the local community what they are capable of this early in their careers.”

The Perk Downtown has been serving the community the past nine years with the best coffee and the friendliest service in the city. They continually seek to give new musicians and artists a chance to display their talents and craft, enriching the local community.

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