Public Art in the News

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303 Magazine
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018
By Cori Anderson

The newest recreation center—and the first one built since 2011 in Denver—opened yesterday to the public after a ribbon cutting ceremony. Located at the corner of East Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street, the $44 million Carla Madison Recreation Center has spent nearly $200,000 on two commissioned art pieces, one inside and one outside the building, with a third piece to be finished (and paid for) this year. That commission is allocated based on a program started in the 1980s, Public Art One Percent where “one percent of the construction budget of any single city capital improvement project with a combined design and construction budget over $1 million must be set aside for the inclusion of art in the new project.”

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ArtScene Episode 311 - Ai Weiwei's "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" and McNichols Civic Center Building

ArtScene - Denver 8 TV
Friday, Nov. 24, 2017

Failure is usually something everybody avoids, but not the teens at Museum of Contemporary Art! ArtScene visits this unique internship program as they prepare for a city-wide high school art show. Also, don't miss the very cool forced perspective photography of One 24th Scale, an internationally acclaimed installation Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, Denver Art Musuem's restoration of the Mexican masterpiece The Virgin of Valvanera, McNichols Civic Center Building, and a music video from El Javi!

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ArtScene Episode 310 - 'Duct Work 2

ArtScene - Denver 8 TV
Monday, Oct. 30, 2017

ArtScene visits the unique dance company Wonderbound, plus the Flamenco Fantasy Dance Company, the Westwood neigbhorhood's Art Place, 'duct work 2, the Colorado Symphony's new music director Brett Mitchell, and CherryArts Festival at Stanley!

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A Look Back at Our Interview with Public Art Giant Lawrence Argent

Confluence Denver
Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017
By Gregory Daurer

Lawrence Argent is undoubtedly best known in Denver for his iconic sculpture, I see what you mean, the blue bear standing 40 feet high and pressing itself up against the Colorado Convention Center, appearing as if it's peeking into the glass edifice.

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Acclaimed “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” sculpture begins its year-long tenure at Civic Center

Denver Post, The Know
Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017
By John Wenzel

Indeed, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,” which will sit around Civic Center’s Sea Lion Fountain for one year, depicts the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac (or Sheng Xiao) in a striking, larger-than-life group: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. (2017 is the year of the rooster, in case you were wondering.)

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Denver Street Artists Brighten I-70 Viaduct with “Duct-Work 2”

5280 Magazine
Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017
By Mike Tish 

There’s a lot of paradox and contradiction in having an art gallery here in what’s historically been a mostly industrial part of town,” [Billy] Henry says. “That’s what I love about it. I think it’s a great idea.

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The tap of an app triggers the two-ton bells of “Ascent,” Denver’s proposed signature sound

Denver Post, The Know
Friday, August 25, 2017 
By Dylan Owens

Titled “Ascent,” the jingle will be used to announce moments such as Broncos victories, festivals in the adjacent Civic Center Park or a night of fireworks to Denver dwellers. Denver Arts and Venues hopes it will become the city’s sonic calling card, as synonymous with Denver as the airport’s tented terminal roof.

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The Sound Of Denver’s City & County Building Is More Than Chimes. It’s Art Too

Colorado Public Radio
Aug. 24, 2017
By Corey Jones

When the City and County Building got a new roof a few years ago, that helped pay for new murals and other paintings inside. But then the city had some money leftover, Cerri says. Add in some extra dollars from the nearby Denver Crime Lab, and those funds helped pay for Padowski's musical work.

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ArtScene Episode 307 - White Mirror

ArtScene - Denver 8 TV
Monday, July 31, 2017

Join host Bobby LeFebre for an exclusive, private tour of one of Denver’s best kept secrets, the American Museum of Western Art, right downtown across from the Brown Palace Hotel! Also the very popular Summer Art Market from the Art Students League of Denver, and a public art dance project commemorating the holocaust, White Mirror.

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Monumental Achievements: The Ten Best Outdoor Sculptures in Denver

Denver Westword
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
By Michael Paglia

Denver is not much of a town for monumental sculpture. While you can pretty much read this city’s entire history through its buildings, decade by decade, you can’t do the same through its art; there are too many gaps in the timeline. Here’s how it went: In the 1910s and 1920s, an effort was made to adorn Denver with art, but that essentially was put on hold until the 1960s — and even that modest burst in interest faltered soon after, disappearing entirely during the oil bust.

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A look at Levitt Pavilion, Denver’s new one-of-a-kind music venue, ahead of first show

Denver Post, The Know
Thursday, July 20, 2017
By Dylan Owens

Aesthetic flourishes set it apart from the competition in less quantifiable ways. “Sky Song,” an interactive art installation, will be dedicated at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, 30 minutes prior to the venue’s first concert. Dreamed up by Denver artists Nick Geurts and Ryan Elmendorf — who collaborated on a 16-foot-tall metal sculpture of a head and hands emerging from the desert at Burning Man last year — the shiny steel 8-foot structure invites passersby to press any combination of its 33 buttons, which will activate lights on a nearby building facade during a concert and activate bells when all’s quiet.

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At the Denver Airport, Art Fuels Conspiracy Theorists

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
By Devon Van Houten Maldonado

The DIA art collection is managed by the city’s public art program and a cultural commission, who provide counsel to the airport about which works to purchase using funds from the city’s Percent for Art program, which sets aside 1% of the budget for any major municipal capital-improvement construction project for public art. Denver’s public art officials may be knowingly fomenting the conspiracy theories surrounding the airport by filling its concourses with works that are so anomalous; DIA senior public information officer Heath Montgomery told the Denver Post that the conspiracy theories add up to “hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars” in free advertising.

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Public art's unheralded bonus? Projects invigorate the local economy

Confluence Denver
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
By Joanne Ostrow

When the city spends money on public art, the funds also create jobs, spark commerce and keep local businesses thriving. And it can make Denver a more pleasant place to live, work, and visit.

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Become A Public Art Trivia Master This Summer

5280 Magazine
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
By Mike Tish

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the series, and to celebrate, Denver Arts & Venues is adding a few new tours to its roster, including the return of a guide through Denver International Airport’s controversial collection—one of the largest bodies of work at a U.S. airport—a guide to the history and art of Union Station, and a tour of the contemporary pieces dotting the Denver Art Museum campus.

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Best New Street Art: Cherry Creek Trail

Denver Westword, Best of Denver 2017
Monday, May 1, 2017

Denver's been blessed with great street art over the past few years, thanks in part to Denver Arts & Venue's Urban Arts Fund, led by Mary Valdez, which pairs paid artists with walls all over the city: under Globeville viaducts, on the sides of RiNo buildings and, last year, along the Cherry Creek Trail. 

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ArtScene Episode 302 - 'Duct Work 2

ArtScene - Denver 8 TV
Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

ArtScene features Youth on Record, a non-profit dedicated to helping underserved youth achieve their best through music; ‘duct-work, a series of temporary murals under the 1-70 Viaduct; guitarist Casey Hrdlicka from Swallow Hill Music, and a music video from SF1 and Denver Loft Sessions!

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Beyond Blucifer and the Blue Bear: Advancing Public Art in Denver

Confluence Denver
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
By Elana Ashanti Jefferson  

Everybody can't like everything," says Chavez, who notes that most sizable cities nationwide now has some variety of percent-for-art ordinance. The percentage may be different, and some other towns may incorporate private construction projects in the law, but the spirit of these laws is largely becoming de rigueur.

"We're bringing these unexpected experiences to people who aren't seeking them," Chavez says. "It would be more upsetting to me if we did something and it went unnoticed."

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Street Art Making Mark on New Denver

Confluence Denver
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016  
Elana Ashanti Jefferson

Born of hip-hop's creative entrepreneurship and fueled by graffiti's outlaw spirit, street artists in Denver find themselves at an unprecedented crossroads where municipal funding for public art includes dollars specifically earmarked for them; where museums and galleries have developed a taste for their vivid yet gritty aesthetic; and where a surge of new residents and businesses compose an audience eager for arts-driven community building and beautification.

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See the Surreal Murals of 'Duct Work While You Can: They're Doomed!

Denver Westword
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016
Lindsey Bartlett 

"We want to make sure we get the whole viaduct painted eventually, so we're going to have lots of chances for more artists," says project organizer Kendall Peterson of CIG, who worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation as well as Urban Arts Fund chair Mary Valdez and Morgan Hartley of the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative to create this massive urban-art project.

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If you're near the Denver City and County Building, keep an ear out for Kevin Padworski playing the chimes.

Colorado Public Radio
Friday, Nov. 18, 2016

Kevin Padrowski on what he hopes you take away from his forthcoming chimes composition... The Colorado musician is currently working on a new composition the city's Denver Arts & Venues has commissioned as public art.

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Rhapsody in Blucifer

Confluence Denver
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016
by Gregory Daurer

Both loved and reviled, Mustang (a.k.a. "Blucifer") was a source of controversy, even before the statue's installation outside at Denver International Airport. Confluence Denver takes a closer look at Luis Jiménez's final work of art -- which led directly to his death.

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Madeline & The Marbleous Bench People - Denver7

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

Colorado sculptor Madeline Wiener is about to unveil her latest incarnation of Bench People at the Denver Botanic Gardens. "Flower Girl" was crafted from a 26,000-lb. block of Yule marble & will open in the Sensory Garden October 1. But Madeline's true legacy is that she's the founder of the Marble/marble sculpting symposium 28 years ago.

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How can public art be preserved and shared?

Christian Science Monitor
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016
By Donna Bryson

Artists, curators, and custodians of public art around the world are tackling the challenge of ensuring the names and stories behind the work are preserved and shared... Denver has made docents out of artists like Jim Green. Mr. Green, who works with sound, is among the dozen or so who have recorded interviews. An art lover can stand on a downtown Denver street, dial 877-DENARTS, and hear Green’s story of a man who knelt on the sidewalk to hear one of Green’s recordings emanating from grates.

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Why the latest graffiti on the Cherry Creek trail made me mad

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2016
By Ryan Haarer

A 9NEWS photographer came into the staff meeting Wednesday morning and told us about his morning commute on the Cherry Creek trail. He spotted fresh paint on a wall under the train at Wewatta Street. Graffiti... The Denver Urban Arts Fund aims to commission artwork like Oliver Vernon’s to prevent public places from being tagged. Let’s hope the newest project has that impact.
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'City Of The Sun': What Inspired This Denver Public Art Mural

By: Corey H. Jones
Friday, July 15 2016

Colorado artist Gemma Danielle still uses the same compass she got in high school geometry class.Back then, she didn’t like math. But nearly 20 years later, math helps guide her creative work. The artist even builds bigger compasses and uses them to create wall murals, including one that recently received national recognition.The public art piece is called “City of the Sun.”... Danielle spent more than a month on this piece last year. The city of Denver commissioned the mural as part of its Urban Arts Fund, a graffiti prevention program that started eight years ago.

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Mural on Cherry Creek path in Denver wins national arts award

By: Anica Padilla
Monday, July 4 2016

A mural painted along the Cherry Creek bike path in Denver has won a national arts award.The mural by Gemma Danielle is called “City of the Sun.”It features a gold mandala on a blue background. Multiple gold stars radiate out from the mandala, connected with white, intersecting lines which form countless triangles.

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La Raza Park public art dedication

Denver Post
By: Patrick Traylor
Sunday, June 19, 2016

Carlos Castaneda stands during a mural dedication at La Raza Park on Sunday, June 20, 2016. The Denver Arts and Venue' public art program in conjunction with Grupo Tlaloc Danza Azteca dedicated a mural titled "El Viaje/The Journey" by artist David Ocelotl.

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Artscene Episode 204 - Wonderbound and The Bridge Project

ArtScene - Denver 8 TV
Monday, May 2, 2016

On this month’s ArtScene, we are joined by the incredible dance company, Wonderbound, plus Art Students League of Denver instructor Tom Mazzullo. We’ll also look at some non-traditional public art with The Bridge Project.

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American art essay: People in Colorado love to argue about art

Denver Post
Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015
By Ray Mark Rinaldi

The best thing about living in the West is that people still argue about art... They've enjoyed every minute of the public battle over the blue "Mustang" sculpture at DIA.

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The Front Range's most important cultural moments of 2015

Denver Post
Friday, Dec. 25, 2015
By Ray Mark Rinaldi

Denver Post Fine Arts CriticTopping the year's list of key moments: A deal at DAM, a new library in West Denver and a bet on the future of the Stock Show... The number of murals exploded in Denver this year, and so did the quality of work, transforming neighborhoods and improving the urban journey for those of us who travel by them every day. Seek out the terrific new pieces from creative minds such as Gemma Danielle Bayly (mural above), Anthony Garcia, Caleb Hahne, Sandra Fettingis, Scott Albrecht and Hyland Mather.

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Denver's Urban Art: Jaime & Pedro

Fellow Magazine
Monday, Nov. 9, 2015
By Rachel Ridings
Photography by Kate Rolston

From spray to acrylic, stencil to freestyle, legal and not-so-much, Denver’s urban art scene is erupting. Over the past few years, Denver residents have seen what was once considered a fairly low-brow community rise and take ownership of the streets. There are murals and pieces showing up on walls daily, some commissioned by the city itself, some privately and some not commissioned at all. This urban art scene is alive and well, thanks to a growing base of painters and shifting public views. What was once considered destructive is slowly becoming artwork: the city and its local businesses are wanting their walls painted, and a community of rising Denver stars are all making it happen.

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A Mindful Bridge' dedicated over I-25

9News, KUSA
Monday, Oct. 5, 2015
By Claire Sisun

The Colorado Center Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge over Interstate 25 was dedicated "A Mindful Bridge..." The bridge near I-25 and Evans Avenue was the site of an art installation provided by Denver's Public Art Program. Two artists from North Carolina, Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, installed stainless steel disks on the interior of the bridge. The disks contain quotes about the experiences of people walking and cycling across the bridge.

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Dance: Lemon Sponge Cake angles toward outdoors

The Denver Post
Friday, Oct. 2, 2015
By John Wenzel

Despite his full schedule as a choreographer and dancer, both in Boulder and in Europe, Lemon Sponge Cake Ballet founder Robert Sher-Machherndl doesn't perform much along the Front Range. That changes this weekend with his latest premiere, "White Mirror," the first dance piece commissioned by Denver's Public Art program.

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Why Denver Commissioned A Piece Of Public Art You'll Only See Once

Colorado Public Radio
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015
By Corey H. Jones

You know the big blue bear that peers into the Colorado Convention Center? The newest piece of public art commissioned by the City of Denver is nothing like that. On Sunday, you'll see why: It's a dance called “White Mirror” and will take place only once, at 6:30 p.m. in Babi Yar Park in southeast Denver.

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{ Dd } Short Short List 9/28 – 10/4

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015
By Candice Thompson

This week, we are all about tights, leotards, and satin shoes with dance you can enjoy for free and from anywhere... If you live in the Rockies, pack a picnic and bring your lawn chairs for a presentation of dance as public art this weekend. White Mirror, choreographed by Robert Sher-Machherndl of Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet will feature Lemon Sponge Cake dancers and collaborator, Sharon Wehner, Principal Dancer with Colorado Ballet, as it memorializes the thousands of Jews, Gypsies, Ukrainians and others that were brutally murdered from 1941 to 1943 at the Babi Yar ravine near Kiev, Ukranine during World War II.

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Snake mural captures contrast of Denver

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015
By Brandon Rittiman

Just below the booming heart of Denver, Jason Garcia wraps up days of painstaking work that's all about contrast. Along the Cherry Creek bike path near the convention center, his 50-foot mural of a towering bull snake contrasts the location in the heart of the city with the natural features of the creek.

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