$200,000 worth of murals celebrating weeds — not weed — will grow on vintage Lakewood apartment complex

The Lamar Station Apartments are located along the 40 West ArtLine.

A mural by Katy Casper in Lakewood. Jan. 14, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A mural by Katy Casper in Lakewood. Jan. 14, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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A beige apartment complex from the 1960s will soon be transformed into an outdoor art gallery with $200,000 worth of murals. The murals will be spread across ten buildings within the Lamar Station Apartments complex each by local artist Katy Casper. The theme for the installation is “Urban Wild Medicine,” a tribute to weeds that grow wild throughout the city.

“It’s a celebration of these weeds that pop up in the cracks despite however much concrete and asphalt we pour on them,” Casper said. “They are these crazy, resilient survivors.”

Casper said she was inspired to focus on weeds after taking a permaculture class where she learned that many of the weeds that grow in Denver have medicinal properties.

“They are like these tiny care packages from mother nature,” she said.

1450 N. Lamar St., Lakewood. Jan. 14, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

1450 N. Lamar St., Lakewood. Jan. 14, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Each building will focus on a different plant, but the murals will share visual characteristics and be part of a cohesive theme. Casper is in the process of finishing designs for the murals and hopes to start painting in May. She hopes be done in August, though weather delays could push the project into September.

The Lamar Station Apartments are situated on the 40 West ArtLine, a four-mile walking and biking route within the 40 West Arts Creative District. The free outdoor gallery features sculptures, murals and interactive art. Casper is presenting her designs to the ArtLine Art Selection Committee this month so it the final installation could be included as an official stop along the ArtLine route.

The installation is funded by Riverpoint Partners, a real-estate development firm that bought Lamar Station last year and owns other apartments in the Lakewood and West Colfax area. The murals are part of a larger renovation of the complex, which will eventually be renamed.

 

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