Artopia curator, Denver street artist Jolt to ‘supercharge’ annual event

Photo: portrait of Denver street artist Jolt
Denver street artist Jolt.

When Westword approached Jolt to guest curate the 2015 Artopia, his first reaction was to rebuild the whole thing from scratch.

“Naturally, I like to turn things upside down and look at them in a different way,” he said. “I wanted to supercharge it and bring it more into not just being a party but being more appreciated in the arts realm.”

So the Denver street artist and GuerillaGarden founder turned to more than 40 different Colorado artists and musicians for contributions to the showcase, which will run alongside the Whiteout Fashion Show on Saturday at Denver’s City Hall club.

“It’s an abundance of art set in the environment of celebration,” says Jolt, who spoke with CPR News about his vision for the annual event.

CPR: How did you get involved with Artopia as a guest curator this year?

Jolt: I’ve had a relationship with Westword for a long time. They called and asked my opinion about Artopia, and I suggested that I curate it. It’s something I’ve done over and over again, and it comes easy to me. I’m a Denver native, and I’ve been creating public art in the city for about 20 years. I’ve worked with the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs and museums like Museo de las Americas, the Denver Art Museum and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. I’ve shown work at galleries like Blackbook and the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council. I also operated the GuerillaGarden warehouse for six years, where we threw parties and art shows. So my background is all over.