Denver Arts & Venues announces 2019-2020 “P.S. You Are Here” grantees - Eleven projects selected; $79,000 provided in funding
Denver Arts & Venues is excited to reveal the 2019-2020 “P.S. You Are Here” (PSYAH) funded projects designed to revitalize neighborhoods through collaborative and community-led outdoor experiences.
As part of IMAGINE 2020, Denver’s Cultural Plan, Arts & Venues’ PSYAH funds help support creative, short-term physical improvement projects that transform underutilized urban spaces to enrich communities and inspire long-term change.
“We have already met with a handful of the grantees and they are ready to hit the ground running,” said Denver Public Art administrator Brendan Picker.
2019-2020 PSYAH will fund the following 11 grantees:
- Bluebird Business Improvement District: $5,000, “Bluebird Haiku” - Haikus will be solicited from the public and twenty will be selected based on their creativity and how they capture the essence and history of Colfax Ave. and the Bluebird-area businesses. Students from East High School will then create laser-cut stencils of the winning haikus and apply them to neighborhood sidewalks.
- BuCu West: $10,000, “Safety Through Art Along Via Verde” - This project consists of a large-scale recycled art installation along Friendship Alley and several intersection murals. Westwood residents will have an opportunity to help design and paint the intersection murals and will also work with artist Sean Doherty to develop the recycled art that will be installed in Friendship Alley. By working within the existing context of Westwood’s prominent mural and recycled/metal art scene, the project will provide residents, especially youth, an opportunity to participate in Westwood’s vibrant art scene in a hands-on way. This community-led art project will also improve safety for pedestrians and will result in multiple points of contact to bring the Westwood Via Verde alive.
- City Park Friends and Neighbors: $8,000, “Color Field at the Lily Ponds” - Color Field will draw attention to the historic Lily Pond space through a colorful, site-specific installation of roughly 12,000 painted gardening stakes in the seedbeds of the drained pond. The six uniquely shaped seedbeds will transform into abstract forms of lenticular colors, bringing attention to this underutilized area of the City Park. The installation aims to recall the history and beauty of the pond area while building momentum for current plans to restore the historic area. The artists will connect Monet’s influence on City Park with Color Field’s display in the spring following the 2019-20 Monet exhibition at the Denver Art Museum.
- Deanne Gertner: $10,000, “Swim Club” - Artist-designed pools or installations are typically relegated to private residences, institutions and businesses. Swim Club aims to change that. Swim Club will place temporary art installations, activations and/or artworks at three Denver public pools: Curtis Park, Green Valley Ranch and Garfield Park. Swim Club will work with local Colorado artists to develop site-specific artworks (projections, shade structures, furniture, inflatables, etc.) based on the selected pool, Denver Parks & Recreation parameters, and input from the surrounding community. Each artwork will address specific needs for that pool and community.
- Helicopter Copter: $10,000, “Upriver Commute” - The word “commute” refers to the travel between home and work. The stretch of pathway along the South Platte River is a commute route for several Denver residents. But “commute” also means a reduction or lessening. As climate change forces humans to change our relationship to fresh water, so too will this sound installation change our relationship to the river and physical space. “Upriver Commute” aims to draw the community to the river by suggesting a different relationship and renewed stewardship of fresh water and natural resources.
- Montbello Organizing Committee: $7,000, “Out of the Box in District 11” - Local artist Pat Milbery of So-Gnar Creative Division will be designing public art pieces inspired by the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, featuring nature scenery and wildlife such as bison and black-footed ferrets. The canvas for these inspirational art pieces will be the arterial utility boxes that line the streets. Community members will enjoy these beautiful and inspirational installations on their commute to and from the community. Educational components will also be included in the project, informing the public about the wildlife refuge and inspiring people to follow the art right to this community gem.
- New Cottage Arts: $10,000, “Lunar New Year 2020, Year of the Rat: Community Tree of Fortune and Prosperity” - The Community Tree of Fortune and Prosperity will be a celebration of the Lunar New Year, Year of the Rat through community-building, collaboration, and fun! The tree, which faces busy Federal Blvd., is situated in the middle of Little Saigon Business District, a hub of Asian culture. It will be decorated with bright, "lucky," red, glow-in-the-dark, papier-mâché rats from the base of the trunk through the large leaning branches, to the tip of the tree, dozens of feet above the ground. The decorative, fun, whimsical rats will be designed and constructed by community members and youth, on organized "building fortune and prosperity" days, and everyone from the community can participate. Artists, staff and family volunteers will weather- and waterproof the rats, and prepare them for the glow-in-the-dark paint solution. The glowing rats will be placed all around the tree, providing a fun and delightful surprise for all who pass.
- Parallel Artistic: $4,000, “Kennedy Neighborhood Hub” - The project consists of a visual renovation of a family gathering place and bus stop. The project will add color to an otherwise dilapidated area. The seating/waiting area will provide a gathering place for parents and family. The project will also enhance children's safety through a crosswalk and block steps. The Neighborhood Hub will bring together communities during the construction by involving local talent in the project and allowing a public posting/sharing area with the proposed little library.
- Project Voyce: $5,000, “The CREATE Mural Project (Culturally Responsive Engaged Art To Equalize)” - A youth-developed project, this mural will be the culmination of a semester-long cultural arts class. Mixing images and text, the mural will be a community collage highlighting the past in order to build toward a future. The mural will not only reflect the creators' identities and history, but also celebrate the power of cultural heritage. This project is intended to inspire youth and adults alike to learn more about our community and heritage.
- UCAN North Metro Denver: $5,000, “The Diversity of Natural Healing” - Five unused planters along the north side of the I-70 viaduct near 46th Avenue and Lincoln Street will be replanted with a selection of Colorado native, xeriscape appropriate traditional herbs historically used by healers from the cultures that make up the area: Native American, Mexican, South and Central American, Asian, Russian and Eastern European, among others. The planters would also feature painted murals including an image of the plant and a brief description of its history and uses.
- Youth Employment Academy: $5,000, “EnvironMENTAL Art” - The EnvironMENTAL project will engage a core team of youth through an intensive summer academy focusing on how reusable materials can help create environmentally conscience, creative placemaking art in environmentally disadvantaged communities. Youth will begin by researching environmental issues in their own neighborhoods and explore disparities in low-income versus higher income communities. They will also look at the works of other upcycle artists, such as Bordalo II and the “Washed Ashore” project, to see how materials can be used in unique ways. Focusing on the Sun Valley neighborhood, they will work with local artists and community members to design and create a large, upcycled public art piece to educate about using recycled materials.
Projects will be located in outdoor, public spaces within the City and County of Denver throughout 2020 and will remain on display for a minimum of three months and up to one year. These projects are free and open to all members of the public.
For more information and for updates on funded programs, please visit artsandvenues.com/psyah