Back before Obama was elected with no small amount of help from street aritsts like Shepherd Fairey—creator of the now-iconic red, white and blue Obama HOPE posters —, and Ron English—creator of the Abraham Obama campaign, which made a stop locally—, Colorado Springs had something of a thriving, if not small, street art scene. (This is not, of course, to be confused with Art on the Streets.) Sadly, downtown alleys and sidestreets have little leftover from that era. Most of the thoughtful and whimsical wheat-paste and graffiti has since been removed or painted over and nothing has come along to replace it. Perhaps it’s for the best. If you’ve seen Exit Through the Gift Shop (available on instand Netflix and highly recommended!), the somewhat dubious documentary by/about the now-infamous artist Banksy and his cohorts, it probably won’t come as much of a surprise that street art, in its most recent incarnation, long since passed unceremoniously into the galleries, i.e. oblivion.

Perhaps it will find renewed vigor in the near or distant future. Until then, here’s a brief glimpse back at some of the art from “the good old days” in the mid-2000s in Colorado Springs.

(Music in this slide show: “Bad Seeds” by Beat Happening, K Records)


6 Responses to R.I.P. Street Art in COS?

  1. Kate says:

    Street art in COS surprised and delighted me and gave me one more reason to love this quirky city.

  2. Liz Arnold says:

    Where DO you find your music?!! Loved it and the art too!

  3. Josh Carr says:

    For a broad overview and history of street art, check out “Exit Through the Gift Shop” and “Next” on Netflix. This city needs a volunteer graffitti committee to preserve art and remove tags. Taggers should stay home andrefine their skills before invading public space with crap. If advertisers can invade my visual space, street artists should have the same right. Thanks Noel , I miss seeing some of those artists

  4. Okay,

    I am wondering who put this together, and who provided photos ??!!… Cool collection but think some fun ones are missing.
    There’s still some nifty ones around town… Long live Street ART !!!

  5. Noel Black says:

    Hi Nasya, the photos are all from my own collection. I used to work downtown and took pictures when I was walking around. My computer got stolen a few years ago, so I lost many of the pictures, but those in the slide show are from my Flickr page. I’m sure there are many more and many still up, but many more are definitely gone.

  6. Noel Black says:

    p.s., if you have other photos of new or old piece you’re welcome to email them to us at We’d love to see them.


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