A peek at the various public art projects that Johanna Parker has designed for the Denver metro area
Buzzing with Color
This is the first in a series of five utility box wraps along RTD's West Line that Johanna Parker designed in a community effort to bring more art and color to the city of Lakewood, Colorado. In the heart of the emerging 40 West Arts District at Lamar Station, this design energizes Johanna's iconic hummingbird which was born out of PROJECT: Colorfax. The composition captures the movement of art, sweeping through the community, showing the impact of color and liveliness that is left in the bird's path. The bird represents the 40 West Arts District collective of creatives and the vision of connecting the community together via art, color and expression. More info can be found about this destination via 40 West's Website...
Together We Grow
Located on the southern edge of Mountair Park, where Sprout City Farms serves a neighborhood of predominately Spanish-speaking residents, Johanna's "Juntos Crecemos" or "Together We Grow" box wrap adds a splash of color as well as gardening inspiration. A message of unity in growing food together all wrapped up in a whimsical way is meant to capture the curious minds of the youth. A school in conjunction with the community garden are just steps away from this bold design which offers a daily dose of hope and cheer that together we will grow.
Nestled on a quiet neighborhood street along the West Line, Johanna's Ammons Hummers are meant to capture the whimsy and magic of nature in a subtle way. Situated on a lawn amongst several apartment units where children play, her artwork aims to teach the beauty of bugs and birds without drawing too much attention to itself. This design invites a closer look to those with a curious spirit who want discover all sides of the playful scene.
Johanna's Cherry Collector wrap tells the story of a nostalgic past where fields of fruit-filled orchards once stood. Eiberhood, one of Lakewood's oldest neighborhoods, took part in this vision to capture their sweet heritage. Given the community's feedback, Johanna crafted a wrap that captures a scene from the past of rolling cherry orchards and flowing waterways, sourced from the Colorado rockies. While a cherry picker takes a slumber under a sweet cherry tree, a cackle of crows ~ the main character of this visual story ~ seek out sweet opportunities! Two sides of the box take place within a vintage farmhouse kitchen, and thanks to an open window, the opportunistic crows have let themselves in! A touch of humor and a dash of whimsy aid in helping to tell the history of this area via this unique public art display.
Again, working with the Eiberhood community, Johanna designed a wrap for a rather unsightly utility box, tucked right next to the rail line within James J. Richey Park. This box encompasses the community's mission to uphold a bee safe neighborhood. In a playful manner, the artwork reminds neighbors and visitors that the bees rely on the nectar from dandelions for their food. These sweet flowers sustain the bees during the turmoil of spring, and the art symbolizes an underlying message to avoid the use of pesticides on these so-called "weeds." Pluck if you must, but don't poison the plants that feed the bees, who in turn feed us through their pollination efforts.
Kings Rest Colorfax Mural
In 2013, Johanna designed a colorful paint-by-numbers mural to help kickstart PROJECT: Colorfax, a 40 West Arts community program that Johanna envisioned. The stated mission of the program is to help rejuvenate West Colfax via vibrant color and art. With the help of 40 West, Johanna organized a group of volunteers to paint the mural. In preparation for the project, JP added a base coat of paint and Johanna sketched all the design elements in place. Helpers arrived early the next morning and the bulk of the work was completed in a day! The mural brings good cheer and happy hues to an unsightly wall. Address: West facing wall of the historic Kings Rest Motel - 7013 W. Colfax Ave. Lakewood, Colorado.
40 West Aerial Art
In 2014, Johanna volunteered to design place-making signage for the 40 West Arts District. An opportunity to wrap and cover an unsightly cellular box mounted on the neighboring roof next to the Kings Rest Motel was an ideal location to help bring attention to the arts on Colfax. Both the east and west faces of this unit display Johanna's playful hummingbird, color and arts district information to help visitors connect the dots.
Steer Around Town
Before Johanna launched her own business, she served as the Art Director for KUSA TV Denver, 9NEWS. Months before she left the corporate world to pursue her art, she had the unique opportunity to paint a life-size casted steer to represent 9NEWS in the Steer Around Town charity auction, benefiting the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. Fortunately, Johanna was granted creative freedom with her design, so she chose a retro 50s motif with pop icons and the old black and white TV countdown screen, proudly displaying a number 9! She moved on thereafter, so the whereabouts of her steer are unknown. It would be a treat to know where this big guy now grazes...