If you’ve ever wished Denver’s alleys were more like your cat lady neighbor’s living room then boy are you in luck

Don’t be alarmed, but there are a bunch of cats in a Denver alley. They’re fake, and they’re art.

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"Alley Cats," an installation by Kelly Monico as part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project,” installed between 14th and 15th Streets west of Larimer Street downtown, June 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

"Alley Cats," an installation by Kelly Monico as part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project,” installed between 14th and 15th Streets west of Larimer Street downtown, June 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Don’t be alarmed, but there are a bunch of cats in a Denver alley.

They’re fake, and they’re art.

You’ll find the phony felines, installed by artist Kelly Monico, between 14th and 15th streets west of Larimer Street. “Alley Cats” is one of five alley meowlley installations in downtown Denver, all part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project.”

Kelly Monico installs "Alley Cats," part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project” between 14th and 15th Streets west of Larimer Street downtown, June 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Kelly Monico installs "Alley Cats," part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project” between 14th and 15th Streets west of Larimer Street downtown, June 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

This was a big team effort. The project comes from the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, the Denver Theatre District and Black Cube and is “closely aligned” with Happy City, according to a press release. It received funding from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.

Here’s where they are:

  • “Alley Freshener,” by Carlos Frésquez, between Stout and California streets on the southwest side
  • “I should be crying but I can’t let it show,” by Stuart Semple, between Champa and Stout streets on the northeast side
  • “Y/OURS,” by Joel Swanson, between Curtis and Champa streets on the southwest side
  • “Public Bodies,” by Frankie Toan, between Stout and California streets on the northeast side

They’re all sculptural and meant to make meowlleys inviting and delightful.

"Alley Freshener" by Carlos Frésquez, part of "Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project" between Stout and California Streets off the 16th Street Mall. June 12, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

"Alley Freshener" by Carlos Frésquez, part of "Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project" between Stout and California Streets off the 16th Street Mall. June 12, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, said in a statement, “This investment in our downtown alleys provides the perfect opportunity to activate our alleys through art, encouraging people to spend time in these underutilized spaces, ultimately creating safe, welcoming and ‘selfie’-worthy places.”

It’s a good thematic fit for Happy City, a city-wide installation meant to inject some joy into the everyday and prompt us to reflect on our mental well-being. As Denver Theater District executive director David Ehrlich put it: “The dream outcome is that how what we do as a city impacts us personally and collectively from a social and mental well being perspective becomes part of the dialog.”

And since we’re all mad here, you probably just ought to go and do a nice, weird thing.

"Alley Cats," an installation by Kelly Monico as part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project,” installed between 14th and 15th Streets west of Larimer Street downtown, June 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

"Alley Cats," an installation by Kelly Monico as part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project,” installed between 14th and 15th Streets west of Larimer Street downtown, June 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

There will be a public event to celebrate the new installations from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday with a tour starting in the meowlley between Larimer and Market streets off of 15th Street. It’ll be led by the Montbello Drumline (which you may remember from an excellent performance at Five Points Jazz Festival this year) and it’ll end with a reception at Skyline Beer Garden.

"Public Bodies" by Frankie Toan, part of "Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project" between Stout and California Streets off the 16th Street Mall. June 12, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

"Public Bodies" by Frankie Toan, part of "Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project" between Stout and California Streets off the 16th Street Mall. June 12, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Yet-placed pieces of "Alley Cats," an installation by Kelly Monico as part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project,” installed between 14th and 15th Streets west of Larimer Street downtown, June 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Yet-placed pieces of "Alley Cats,"</a> an installation by Kelly Monico as part of “Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project,” installed between 14th and 15th Streets west of Larimer Street downtown, June 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

I’ll show myself out meow.

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