The RiNo Art District got its name in 2005 from local artists Tracy Weil and Jill Hadley-Hooper when they joined together to create the River North Art District. Today Tracy Weil is a Creative Director for the district.
“Some of the developers were calling it River North,” Weil said. “We as artists, we want something a little more fun.”
The district is located in Five Points and it has seen a drastic change. Before it was an art district, the area was known for its industrial uses.
“It was really an industrial neighborhood. People used to make industrial patterns here,” Weil said.
During the 20s and 30s the RiNo Art District was packed with a plethora of warehouses. The area then saw a sugar beet processing factory come into existence. As the 70’s came around, auto supply businesses began to move in. Weil said that the area was attractive to artists because artists like to fix up rough areas.
“We’re a collective of creative businesses that have banned together to create an area in the city that focuses on arts and culture and promoting that,” Weil said. “We have about 400 artists that are working in the neighborhood. We have art studios, we have galleries and we have over 100 murals in the district. We have people that make different kinds of items that they sell on their own. Jewlery, wallets and candles.”
Weil said anytime is a great time to come out to the district, especially to see elaborate murals. However, there is one specific time each month that is perfect for a night out.
“The best time to come is on the first Friday of the month,” Weil said. “Galleries open their doors. We have great restaurants and breweries.”
Along with an opportunity to visit open galleries, the RiNo Art District also offers live music sometimes on the first Friday of the month. Another landmark event for the area will be the Creative Rituals Under Social Harmony (CRUSH) event happening September 11-17. It will be the seventh year the event has occurred.
The event is a collaborative innovative with the RiNo Art District to celebrate graffiti and street art. It is free to the public and all ages are encouraged to visit. Murals that already exist in the area will be repainted.
“Artists from all around the world will come and paint murals,” Weil said.
The RiNo Art District also plans to be involved in the Colorado Classsic, a four-stage bicycle race. The race sees competitors from all around the globe.
“Part of the neighborhood will be the race track,” Weil said.