Instagram-Worthy Murals in Fort Collins, CO
With actual addresses you can actually plug into your GPS and easily find. You’re welcome.
My obsession with mural hunting has made its way to a new state! Below are just a few of the many Instagram-worthy murals I found while gallivanting around Fort Collins, CO for a few days.
Rock ‘n’ Robin’s - 804 S College Ave
Located on South College Ave, Rock ‘N’ Robin’s is the local music shop-turned-dispensary that has just about everything you could want, from classic records and DVD’s to funky body jewelry, Bob Marley-inspired Rasta accessories, and, most importantly, a massive mural paying homage to Marley and other iconic musicians on the side of their building.
Rock ‘N’ Robin’s has been involved in the music scene since the early 80’s, but they weren’t always located in the Fort Collins area. Originally based in Macomb, Illinois, the brick and mortar shop blew up on national news outlets like CNN and the New York Times in 1990 after the OG Robin (yeah, she’s real!) had a run-in with the law…for displaying the new Jane’s Addiction album, Ritual de lo Habitual, in the window. The record was confiscated by local police, and its risqué cover art apparently provoked an official warning to Robin, stating that she could be arrested at any time “at the pleasure of the local city attorney.”
Robin eventually won when her case was inevitably brought to the American Civil Liberties Union after that, and the shop happily migrated to the current Fort Collins location in 1988. To this day, the website invites customers to “come in and discuss civil liberties at any time, and maybe hear some new music” while they’re at it.
Local music lovers can also enjoy two additional murals (one pictured above, one below) located just behind Rock ‘N’ Robin’s, including one that transports you into a life-sized beehive of sorts when entering the dispensary through the back door.
“Sun Goddess” - 234 N College Ave
Created by local artist & founder of the Fort Collins Mural Project, Lindee Zimmer, the beautiful “Sun Goddess” watches over the outdoor courtyard of The Exchange in Fort Collins. You can find her on the wall next to Pizza Press, and you can find the rest of Zimmer’s similarly colorful & impressive portfolio here as well as on her Instagram.
PS - Once you find it, grab some ice cream at Old Town Churn (delicious vegan options available!) or a donut from Fort Collins Donut Company in The Exchange and eat at the tables right in front of the mural (you’re welcome in advance).
“Bunny” - Uncommon Apartments on Olive & College (302 S College Ave)
This cute little bunny friend was created by Allie Ogg, a Fort Collins-based artist who designs whimsical creatures and landscapes in fun, colorful ways that can be found in a bunch of different places around town. From children’s nurseries to beer can designs for Equinox Brewing (and another mural on the side of the building), Allie does it all.
She even created a parody “adult children’s book” called Goodnight Brew, a story about cute animals and a brewery closing down for the night.
Untitled - Uncommon Apartments on Olive & College (302 S College Ave)
Right next to “Bunny” is a mural by another local artist & muralist, Chris Jones. Since there was little to no information about this piece online, I slid into Chris’s DM’s (well, his inbox, really), and he was nice enough to let me know that, though untitled, this piece draws on inspiration from comic book artists and other visual narratives for its bright pop of color and intricate design.
“On The Shoulders of Giants” - 118 Trimble Court, Old Town Square
What was once just a blank wall on the side of the local art, jewelry, and design shop, Trimble Court Artisans, is now the home of the “On The Shoulders of Giants” mural, created by Stanley Scott. The piece was the first permanent installment for the Fort Collins Mural Project back in 2016, and is one of the many murals that can be found in the hidden alleyways around Old Town Square.
City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places Program: Pianos About Town
With Fort Collins being such an artsy town, I didn’t really give it a second thought when I stumbled upon this beautifully painted piano (pictured below) while walking through Old Town Square. But as it turns out, what I thought was just a happy coincidence actually led to me discovering one of the many pianos featured in the town’s well-known public art project: Pianos About Town.
Pianos About Town is, well, exactly what it sounds like. Local artists come together and use their creative talents to literally decorate pianos around their town that have been donated by local residents and businesses.
It all began back in 2010 as a collaborative public art project between the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places Program and the Bohemian Foundation, with the intent being to spice up the streets of Fort Collins with vibrant artwork and fun opportunities for spontaneous music-making.
Fast forward to the summer of 2018: The project released its 100th piano into the program. According to the Bohemian Foundation, local artist Karina Branson created the design for this special 100th piano by interviewing residents of all ages and walks of life to ask them what they felt made their community special.
The completed pianos rotate to various indoor and outdoor locations throughout the year, so if you see one this week, chances are, you might spot it somewhere else next week! You can download PDF files of all of the different piano designs that have been completed over the years here. See if you can find them all!
Just like the pianos, many electrical boxes around the city have also been turned into fun pops of art. The above examples are just a few of the many awesome murals and public art projects around the Fort Collins area, and I’m sure that some are still in the works today!
PS - I searched high and low for what felt like hours trying to find the “Welcome to Old Town” mural (see below) I had previously seen online, but sadly, I never found it. I do think I found where it used to be, but I’m assuming that it’s possibly been demolished? Can any Fort Collins locals out there confirm, or am I just crazy?