A Conversation with Chris Warren

Get to know this year's Festival Artwork artist!

La Plata Cacophony, our 2023 Festival Artwork, created by Chris Warren

We are delighted to reveal this year’s commissioned Festival Artwork, La Plata Cacophony, by local artist Chris Warren!

Chris is a professional artist and Durango native creating intricate and unique patterns of color using topographic data. For our 2023 Festival Artwork, Chris created a piece which literally features mountains in the music! The background is the same color topographic map of La Plata County overlaid onto itself multiple times, creating a cacophony of color meant to evoke the larger-than-life sounds you can only hear at live symphonic performances.

Read on to get to know more about Chris, his background, and where the inspiration for this year’s piece came from.

How would you describe your work for those who might not know you?

My work takes many different shapes, from murals to clothing to sculptures to animation, but it is all focused around topography, or the forms found in other parts of nature, from hands and faces to mountains and canyons.

Color is an integral part of my work, with bold striking colors dancing alongside each other to create an eye-grabbing art object. 

When did you first begin producing art & what's your background?

I have been producing art for as long as I can remember, but this direction involving topography started about eight years ago. I have a BFA in film studies from CU Boulder, but after graduating, I found it was much easier to create art as one person sitting in their bedroom than it is to create film.

How long have you been in Durango and how did you end up here?

I was born and raised in Durango, moved to Boulder for college, stayed up there for some years after graduating, and just moved back to Durango last summer!

Music in the Mountains has been a part of my life since I was born, with my dad creating one of the most iconic Music in the Mountains posters (the musician riding a chairlift with his instrument), and my mom being deeply ingrained in the local music ecosystem.

Where do you find your inspiration, and what inspired you to work on this piece for Music in the Mountains?

Interesting and unique landscapes, I would have to say, are my biggest inspirations, but really, any intricate texture or enticing shape grabs my interest.

Given that I work with mountain topography often, it was an easy leap to try to brainstorm ideas for Music in the Mountains, and creating a poster for the same festival that my dad‘s iconic poster was created for was a huge motivator in this project. 

The program cover for our 1991 Festival, featuring the iconic artwork created by Chris's dad.
Our 2023 Festival Artwork artist Chris Warren

What's your favorite thing about Durango?

My favorite thing about Durango is the Animas River!

What's your favorite piece of music, classical or otherwise?

Two of my favorite pieces of music are the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th and the second movement of Beethoven’s 9th!

See More of Chris's Work:

Represented By:

Get ready for this year’s festival!