Beneath the Guise:
A Satirical Travel Guide to Denver

Sofia Elmore

About Sofia

I am graduating with a BA in art and a minor in digital media. In my time at metro, I have explored various mediums and found my place as an artist. My primary medium is photography, and I use photography to create work that ranges from subtly introspective to outwardly critical of societal issues. I specialize in fine-art portraiture and documentary photography. 

About Sofia's Research

This satirical travel guide documents the current state of Denver, focusing on neighborhoods in Central Denver. The neighborhoods this project explores are Highland (LoHi), River North Arts District (RiNo), Five Points, and Capitol Hill. The guide focuses on urban development and its effects while satirizing travel literature that emphasizes only positive aspects of a city. Denver has become increasingly economically prosperous, causing its population to have grown exponentially in the past few years. This population influx has offered a new home for many and contributed to the city's economic success, but has often overlooked the consequences on the city's population, such as gentrification and displacement caused by a rapid increase in rent prices. Each neighborhood this project explores tells this story in a different way. Construction sites illustrate new development; thriving businesses demonstrate success and prosperity; housing developments portray the appealing nature of calling Denver home. However, behind the recent success and development there is loss, demonstrated by abandoned houses and storefronts. Photographs of construction sites, store fronts (active, abandoned, or for lease), and tourist attractions in the lively and colorful style of a travel guide tell the story of a changing city through its architecture and development projects.

Change is inevitable, and this series is meant to document the changing city in a satirical way while raising the question of how to promote growth and development while without erasing history.