The artists behind Denver’s Black Love Mural Festival

//Artist Moe Gram stands in front of her mural in Denver’s Civic Center Park on June 16. Photo by Polina Saran | polinasarana@gmail.com

The Black Love Mural Festival in Denver’s Civic Center Park was originally slotted to end on June 30 but has been extended to July 7. The festival is a collaboration between Rob the Art Museum, the City of Denver and IRL art. Of the thirty Colorado-based artists of color that participated, twenty were paid for their work through a GoFundMe page. The remaining funds were used to finance community art classes. Ms. Mayhem reporters Polina Saran and Madison Lauterbach spoke with several artists who shared the inspiration behind their pieces and the project manager from Rob the Art Museum. 


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“A goddess among mortals”: Alicia Cardenas changed the face of modern body modification

“A goddess among mortals”: Alicia Cardenas changed the face of modern body modification

In the body modification community, there are names that everyone knows: Fakir Musafar, Shannon Larratt, Howie Luna Cobra.

Also on that list, filled with mostly white men who have dominated the industry for decades, is Denver body modification artist and owner of Sol Tribe, Alicia Cardenas. As an Indigenous woman, Cardenas brought the rituals of Meso-American cultures into her body modification practices and empowered others to do the same.

“I just needed someone like Alicia to give me permission to really look at it from that perspective and be like, ‘I need to take ownership of this,’” said Luz de Luna Duran, owner of Luna Body Piercing Velton in Berlin, Germany. “These practices that we do, they are medicine. They are our magic. [Body modification] is how we enact the magic of our bodies out in the world. It was really inspiring to see another woman of color on these stages, taking those leadership positions.”

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