Denver Public Art Program Receives Three National Awards for Outstanding Public Art
Jun 29 2012
Americans for the Arts annually selects 50 outstanding public art pieces from across the country. This year, three new pieces from the Denver Public Art Collection were chosen for Year in Review Awards – Cloud Seeding, Sun Spot and Playing Apart.
For a dozen years, Public Art Network’s Year in Review has annually recognized outstanding public art projects through an open call submission and curation/selection process. This year, 429 submissions were received with three of Denver’s innovative pieces standing out. “We are honored to receive this national award and share the company of other cities’ great art,” said Ginger White, deputy director of Arts & Venues Denver. “This recognition is a testament to Denver’s commitment to public art, innovative artists, and the staff of our public art program who continue to push the limits and bring innovative, dynamic works to Denver.”
Green Valley Ranch Library
Cloud Seeding is a participatory artwork by artist Erik Carlson that uses library patron's card catalog search terms to call up a spectrum of associative images, quotes and information drawn from the library's collection. The result is an ever-shifting real-time visualization of the library's day-to-day usage, and of the collective consciousness created through a community's participation in its local library. Four large LCD screens connected to a special catalog search kiosk display media clips culled from the library's collection of books, DVDs, music, digital image and text archives. Using custom software, the system parses patrons' search terms and call up associative clips in real time. Cloud Seeding will serves as a catalyst, encouraging patrons to diversify and explore and allow them, through their explorations, to participate in the creation of the artwork itself.
Laura Haddad & Tom Drugan
Denver Municipal Animal Shelter
Sun Spot is a tri-piece artwork for Denver’s new Municipal Animal Shelter at the South Platte Campus, linked by the common use of pet tags as a primary material. The primary piece is a 20’-tall dog sculpture located at the southeast corner of the site, adjacent to the South Platte Trail and visible from Interstate-25. The form of the dog is an amalgam of many different dogs, in effect becoming “every dog.” The seated dog sculpture is made from a steel skeleton covered with 90,000 stainless steel pet tags. These tags move in the breeze and catch the sun during the day, and at night, colored LED lighting make the surface of the sculpture scintillate with constant light and movement.
Playing Apart Performance Art Piece
Jon Rubin & Lee Walton
Throughout Downtown Denver
Playing Apart dismantled an entire 90-piece marching band into single performers that collectively used the whole city as a playing field. Each band member, dressed in plain clothes, continually played Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” as they walked their own route through the city. By simply walking the streets, sitting in a café, or peering out an office window – the public was likely to see one band member after another passing by from random directions, like solitary pieces of a larger puzzle. Playing Apart was a collaborative project by Jon Rubin, Lee Walton and the Bear Creek Marching Band.
In 2011, three Denver Public Art pieces were named to the Year in Review: Wildgarden/Talking Fence by Jim Green and Lady Fancywork Society at the Union Station Redevelopment site; Catherine Widgery’s Cloudbreak in the Cisneros Jury Assembly Room at the Lindsey–Flanigan Courthouse; and Cloudscape by Christopher M. Lavery at Denver International Airport.