Meet Denver Artist & Muralist Olive Moya

Olive Moya is an artist and muralist, living in Denver. This is her first Crush Walls.

It’s been a while, since we chatted, on IGTV. I know you’re well known as an artist in Denver, but tell the people who you are, and what you love to create.

My name is Olive Moya, I’m an artist and muralist. I try to work on a large scale as often as possible, but I also make paintings in my studio

I’m interested in your creative process leading up to Crush Week, And if it’s different then a mural going up for a business or a client?

This particular process was different for me because I am collaborating (with Alex Pangburn) and because I’m wheat pasting in addition to painting. Collaborating is special because you’re trying to merge your two styles in a natural way.

I asked whether Alex was interested in the pieces I was making using historic Colorado photos and I explained my concept behind them, which fit perfectly with her idea of painting an endangered Colorado species. We sent sketches back and forth until we got to something we both liked.

This is a piece of Olive Moya’s art that incorporates wheatpasting into her art.

That’s so interesting to know the full story behind the piece. I knew you wheatpasted in your work, but I hadn’t seen you do it on such a large scale.

This is Ladies Fancywork Society who were part of Babe Walls, as well as CRUSH week.

I love that a lot of Crush week artists walk around to check out friends’ work, root them on, etc. Who are you most excited to see?

All the Babe Walls ladies, obviously.  All of us are a CREW now and are all super proud and supportive of one another.

This is Koko Bayer, another Denver-based artist’s work. See more of Koko’s “Project Spread Hope” campaign here, on her Instagram.

Sandra Fettingis,  Romelle, Ashley Joon, Lindee Zimmer, Anna Charney, Sandi Calistro, Gina (@tattoosbygina), Marissa (@reveryart), Koko (@kokonofilter), Kaitlin (@kaitlinziesmer) & Kaitlin (@kjorin), Alicia (@tribalmurals), Chelsea (@chelsealewinski), and Taylor (@taylorherzog)!

Lio-Bravo Bumbakini, find him on instagram, here.

Beyond that I love Lio Bumba’s (@liobumba) work, there’s a simple beautiful quality to it that I’m really drawn to; something I enjoy but don’t often see in Denver. 

This is We Were Wild, painting at Crema, wheatpaste not added yet!

We Were Wild is literally my favorite with their delicate, beautiful wheat pastes. Birdcap (@birdcap), Detour (@detour303)… I’m just naming everyone, aren’t I? Ok, I’ll refrain. 

No, I love it. Sometimes Crush can be overwhelming, so this is great for a list of first “must-sees,” especially from your point of view.

I asked you, last time we spoke if your work had slowed down during Coronavirus, and you said quite the opposite. What’s your take on it picking up? And what it might say about people needing art, and color… and the vibrance and life your work brings?

denver's best artist

I think people need art more than they know. They need expression and someone able to communicate their ideas visually. Being creative is what makes us human and right now we really need to FEEL something and feel connected to other humans. 

Something hand-painted, something that is steeped in the soul of another human has to be so appealing while the world burns and we fight about literally the right for other human beings to live. I want to believe that taking a step back has meant a consciousness of choices about who and what we surround ourselves with. 

Image: Artist Lindee Zimmer. Find her on instahram, here

I just want to say congrats on your Babe Walls collaboration with another Denver-based artist, Lindee Zimmer. It’s an extraordinary and visually arresting portrait of Toluwanimi Obiwole of The Palm Wine Collective, as well as the Co-Founder of Anti-Racist Club.

You both never backed down from your bright color palettes, even when addressing how dark our nation, our world can be, with its history of racism. You touched on the importance of color, when you and I last spoke, after  I asked if your palette or themes would be darker because of coronavirus and the state of the world.

Can you elaborate here?  The answer was so compelling.

Thank you! I’ve been reading about the idea of place and memory in our lives and how powerful our first memories in solitude are. Color in my work is nostalgic and comforting – a pale turquoise that I distinctly remember in the wallpaper of my childhood kitchen… marigold that hits me in the spot that’s exactly what it felt like to be 20 living on my own for the first time in Los Angeles.

Like a song that reaches deep down to pull at your heartstrings, color can affect you profoundly and my work takes advantage of that ability to set the tone.

 Back to Crush walls, where can we find you?

You can find Alex and me at Il Posto on Larimer!

One of Olive Moya’smost recent works can be found on Delaware St. and 12th Ave.

Lastly, tell me what projects you have coming up. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it to myself!

Working on some things for Las Vegaaaaass, that I can’t quite talk about it yet. And then taking a BREAK before working on paintings for a show with Sandra and Sandi at ILA Gallery in May!

Oh, three Denver artists I really admire. I can’t wait to see what everyone creates. Thank you, Olive. I know you’re so busy, so I really appreciate you giving insight into your work, and Crush Week.