How do you see the history of Union Station come alive through this collaborative piece?
Meredith: I composed this installation by creating layers that follow the history of Denver’s Union Station, integrating its movement from Beaux Arts train station, to neglected inner-city space and, finally, to its revival as an urban hub.
Tell me a bit about the inclusion of wallpaper in the design and it’s importance to the mural.
Meredith: The early history of Union Station is evoked with a “wallpaper” applied with an intricate hand-cut stencil incorporating traveling seeds of two native Colorado plants and a plant that has become indigenous to the region: the Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens), Bigtooth Maple (Acer grandidentatum) and the non-native Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius).
There seems to be a more modern technique behind your work, Anthony. Tell me how it meshes with Meredith’s composition?
Anthony: I painted the second layer of “buffed” graffiti intended to evoke the period in Union Station’s history during which train travel fell out of favor and the station was largely ignored.
What is the significance of the last layer of the mural?
Meredith: The final layer represents the reinvention of Union Station. Partially gilded with gold leaf, the glowing silhouettes of Prickly Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) climb up the installation, its tendrils embracing the primary layers. Native to Colorado and across North America, the annual thrives on the banks of the nearby Platte River and it represents the adaptability and tenaciousness of Union Station which has grown and thrived under challenging conditions to become a beacon of social interaction in downtown Denver.
If you have yet to see the final product, make sure you take a peek next time you visit The Kitchen Next Door Union Station.