June 17, 2009
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Brushing into history
Greg Hammer's mural, unveiled June 12 at the Denver Police Academy, took him more than 130 hours to create.
The work of Metropolitan State College of Denver art major Greg Hammer is now part of the permanent history of the Denver Police Department.
The 37-year-old artist spent the entire 2009 spring semester painting an 8' x 8' mural to celebrate the department's 150-year history. The unveiling was held at a press conference on Friday, June 12, at the Denver Police Academy in a long hallway that serves as a museum for the police department. The mural will remain there indefinitely.
"He gave 100 percent," says Assistant Art Professor Carlos Fresquez and Hammer's mentor on the project. "This is one of those times when I wish we had plusses because he deserves an A+. This will be a part of police history for years to come."
The multi-colored mural, which took more than 130 hours to create, is a historical look at how the department has evolved, highlighting images from current-day officers to recruit training activities at the department through the years.
"The time is not as important as the end product," says Hammer, who had the support of his family and his employer xBML Innovation while he worked on
"It's (art) his passion," says his wife Alexia.
Hammer learned about the opportunity through the Internship Center and received three credits in Fresquez's course, Community Painting - The Mural.
During the ceremony, Captain Eric Rubin read a commemorative letter honoring Hammer for his initiative on the project, saying the piece "will itself become a part of history."
Prior to applying paint to canvas, Hammer spent time researching the police department's history, including such key elements as the meaning of the seven points of a badge. In addition, he paid for all expenses.
Now that he has completed the mural, Hammer will have more time to spend finger painting with this two boys - both under three years old.
Fresquez has mentored several students through his mural class, resulting in the placement of murals in various prestigious places around the city of Denver. Just last month, a mural was unveiled at the El Centro de las Familias, a multicultural outpatient clinic of the Mental Health Center of Denver, that specializes in providing services to Spanish-speaking and bilingual children, adolescents and adults.
It was painted by Metro State art majors Todd Robinson and Ian Rumley.
"Our new mural has all but eliminated the constant incidents of graffiti and tagging on our building, says MHCD/El Centro Program Manager, Russ Urrutia. "The community seems to love it."
To see the painting, go to http://www.mhcd.org/PressReleases/El_Centro_Holds_Open_House.html
To see other works produced by students in Fresquez' class, go to