FORT COLLINS | When it comes to street art, Fort Collins is a city that punches above its weight. Most of Fort Collins’ murals can be found downtown, but they’re also dotted all over the city. From industrial areas to residential neighbourhoods, you never know where you might find an interesting mural in Fort Collins.
The city’s street art scene can be attributed to its many local, talented artists, and the positive attitude towards public art that the the city fosters. The City of Fort Collins supports artists through its Art in Public Places (“FCAPP”) program, and runs several initiatives through the year.
The Fort Collins Mural Project, meanwhile, is a non-profit organisation run by local artists and art lovers who work together to promote contemporary art in public spaces. They help to provide opportunities for emerging, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ artists in Colorado.
In this Fort Collins street art guide, I’ll tell you about some of my favourite neighbourhoods to visit for Fort Collins’ best street art.
Examples of almost all of Fort Collins’ street art initiatives can be found Downtown. One example that you can’t miss are all the bright and colourful power transformer cabinets dotted around town. The Transformer Cabinet Mural Project was started in 2004 as a collaboration between FCAPP and Utilities Light and Power. Local artists and non-profit groups paint the cabinet, converting what would otherwise be grey utilitarian boxes into pieces of art.
Something else that you might spot are painted pianos in public spaces. Pianos About Town is a collaborative effort between FCAPP ,Bohemian Foundation, and the Downtown Development Authority. It involves pianos being placed around town, painted by local artists, to be played for free.
Old Town Fort Collins is a sub-neighbourhood of Downtown. People visit for its charming turn of the century architecture, its streets being the inspiration for Main Street Disneyland. Come for that, and stay for the many murals that exist. There’s the transformer cabinets and pianos, and several pieces commissioned by local businesses and artists groups.
Old Town North
Distinct from Old Town, Old Town North is a neighbourhood that’s leant into new urbanism in recent years. It’s a design movement that promotes walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods. There are new and old homes, small houses, and apartment buildings, offices, and retail, all mixed into the same spot. As you can imagine, an area like this just calls for great street art, and in Old Town North, you’ll find it.
University North / University Park
These adjacent neighbourhoods surround the University of Colorado’s Fort Collins campus. Being youthful, university neighbourhoods has resulted in murals being welcomed in the area. You’ll find a diverse assortment of murals in the area, many of which deal with topical issues.
Identified artists featured in the image gallery include:
Happy discoveries on your street art walk through Fort Collins. What are your favourites places for street art in Fort Collins? Are there any street art neighbourhoods beyond these hotspots that you love?