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Muralist painting West Colfax viaduct in front of Empower Field

"This has really been a neglected area in Denver for many years, and seeing Sun Valley become a thriving community is just long overdue," an organizer said.

DENVER — Volunteers gathered on Sunday to begin the West Colfax viaduct improvement project. Portions of the bridge in front of Empower Field will be repainted with a mural to establish a marketplace for the community to hold events. 

"The planning for the redevelopment of Sun Valley has been going on for many years. So there’s been a lot of community input into the Sun Valley redevelopment and how to activate this space," Glenn Harper with the Sun Valley Kitchen and Community Center said.

"It’s a space that can’t have anything built permanently under it, so it’s perfect space for a temporary installation of a semi-permanent marketplace," Harper said.

On Sunday, volunteers primed the columns with artist Juls Mendoza. He plans to paint a mural that will pay homage to the array of cultures in the area.

Credit: Glenn Harper

"Whatever I paint. I try to represent the community that belongs around the mural, because it's pretty much for them," Mendoza said. "There are a lot of communities that are underrepresented, so I mean, if I can do what I can do best just by painting something and make someone have a better day or something, that makes me happy."

Mendoza hopes to have the mural done by the end of April, in time for the international night market scheduled to take place at the viaduct on May 14. Harper hopes the events that take place here can open new opportunities for people in the neighborhood. 

"This has really been a neglected area in Denver for many years, and seeing Sun Valley become a thriving community is just long overdue," Harper said. "Seeing all these people come together to help shape this vision is really exciting."

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