Public Art in the News

27 Things Denverites Really Want Out-of-Towners to Know About the Mile High City - Denver Westword
By Bree Davies
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

We're famous for Blucifer the demon horse and the Big Blue Bear -- but Denver's public art pride is in its murals.

Anthony Garcia Sr. and his Birdseed Collective have been installing murals all over his home turf of Globeville for years. Jolt, another celebrated favorite, has been a tireless champion of changing the perception of street art, and Jerry Jaramillo's work brought life to the Northside while he taught students all over the city how to paint. Thanks to the Urban Arts Fund, muralists like Gemma Bayly will be installing new work around Denver in the coming months.
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Beyond The Blue Bear - 5280 Magazine
By Daliah Singer
September 2014

Denver’s public art collection grows by up to 10 pieces each year. Here’s your guide to a few of our favorites. PLUS: what to do nearby to extend your city tour.
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Denver exploring master plan for Burns Park and its public art - The Denver Post
By Joe Vaccarelli
Monday, Aug. 25, 2014

Denver is exploring ways to enhance Burns Park, a widely seen but seldom used park known for its four large art pieces at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Alameda Avenue.

Denver Parks and Recreation, along with Denver Arts and Venues, is conducting a public survey before beginning a master plan for the park. The hope is to get more people to use the park and make it a destination in the city.
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Denver throws a party for public art that some love, some don't - The Denver Post
By Ray Mark Rinaldi
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

Artist John McEnroe has the distinction of creating Denver's second-most beloved piece of public art and its second-most ... misunderstood...

"National Velvet" may not be a pretty child, but it's our child, smart and precocious, and like every kid it deserves a party every once in a while. That's the idea behind the "Big Red Street Fair" celebration set for Aug. 28, at the base of the pedestrian bridge.
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How much should the public be involved in the public art process? - Colorado Public Radio
by Stephanie Wolf
Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014

A new piece of public art in Durango is provoking debate among residents.

“Arc of History” is the latest addition to the city’s $1.2 million public art collection. The natural stone structure is designed by Pennsylvania artist Tom Holmes. Sitting atop a median at the intersection of Highways 550 and 160, it spans about 20 feet in length and resembles a fishtail in form...

The selection of public art is a contentious topic elsewhere in Colorado -- and beyond... Denver uses a panel of experts and a few community members to select public art because there is more to consider than just aesthetics.
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What Smart Cities Can Learn from Denver - Confluence Denver
By Eric Peterson
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fueled by collaboration, the Mile High City is investing in transit-oriented development while also preserving its historic neighborhoods. Denver has gained 50,000 new residents in the past four years, outpacing its suburbs and most other metro areas...

Denver's prodigious public art program -- the city's collection of about 400 pieces rivals New York City's -- stems from a policy established in the early 1988. Any project over $1 million is required to set aside one percent of its budget for art.
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Five Things You Didn't Know About the Sculptures in Denver's Burns Park - Denver Westword
By Michael Paglia
Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014

Burns Park fills the triangle of hillside defined by Colorado Boulevard to the west, Alameda Avenue to the south and Leetsdale Drive, which runs diagonally from northwest to southeast. The park is notable for being home to a suite of mostly minimalist sculptures, some of which have been on the site since 1968. This Saturday, August 9, there will be a festival at Burns Park called Experience 1968, which is free and open to the public. In addition to celebrating the existing pieces, the event features six artists --Trine Bumiller, Claudia Mastrobuono, Nicole Banowetz, Matt Scobey, Nikki Pike and Tara Rynders - -who will be creating temporary works, performances and music in honor of Burns Park and what's happened there in the intervening years.
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A Walk in the Park - Denver Westword
by Susan Froyd
Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

Burns Park is a hidden jewel in plain sight: Trapped in a traffic-heavy triangle bordered by Colorado Boulevard, Alameda Avenue and Leetsdale Drive, it’s in the middle of the action but rarely used. Still, the tiny park has a storied past that includes four big-name modern-minimalist sculptures, the remaining pieces out of nine works originally placed there as part of a temporary installation for the 1968 Denver Sculpture Symposium, as well as a couple of interloping pieces added over the years. Never built to last, some of the sculptures have been refurbished or rebuilt, while others were torn down long ago. The city has long pondered what to do about the park — and now Denver Arts & Venues is looking for public input as it works to simply raise awareness of it.
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City Canvas: Urban Arts Fund set out to beautify our city with hand-painted murals - 5280 Magazine
by Jessica Farmwald
July 2014

Armed with a can of turquoise spray paint, Denverite Jonathan Lamb eyes his target: the side of a furniture factory in RiNo. He shakes the canister and, in the middle of the day, begins spraying. Lamb doesn’t need to wait for darkness to create his masterpiece—this graffiti is sanctioned by Denver Arts & Venues, which will help fund 30 new murals in the Mile High City this summer alone. Since 2009, Arts & Venues’ Urban Arts Fund (UAF) program has offered a total of $50,000 each year to can-wielding artists for projects in frequently vandalized parts of town.
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Five things you didn't know about the art at Denver International Airport - Denver Westword
by Caleb Williams
Monday, July 28, 2014

There are secrets behind the public art pieces at Denver International Airport -- and it's not what conspiracy theorists would have you believe. We checked in with DIA Exhibitions Coordinator Tim Vacca and Public Art Program Coordinator Mandy Renaud, and discovered there's a method to all the madness. Keep reading for five things you didn't know about the art at DIA.
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Review: Outside in 303 tells a real west side story - Denver Westword
by Michael Paglia
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Outside in 303, the main summer feature at the Museo de las Americas, is absolutely spectacular, and makes a real contribution to local art literacy by revealing a scene of Latino taggers that has been more or less hidden from the rest of the art world -- though their efforts have been visible on the streets and in the railyards.
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Can't make the Louvre this summer? Take a quick trip to DIA! - Denver Westword
by Caleb Williams
Wedneday, July 23, 2014

When people travel through Denver International Airport, they're rarely thinking about the art there. Typically, a travelers are more concerned with cramming McDonald's hash browns into their kids' mouths and getting to the gate without a mental breakdown than they are with marveling at the artwork in the terminal. But DIA boasts a lot more than Dunkin' Donuts and Mayor Michael Hancock greeting you over the train intercom (that, by the way, is considered art, too). And so last week we joined the DIA Art and Culture Program on a walking tour of the art at DIA.
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Ten best dates in Colorado this summer - Denver Westword
by Bree Davies
Wednesday, July 16, 2014  

Romance is always in the air, but Colorado is especially enchanting in the summer, when you can have a lovely time outside -- or inside, escaping the heat. With so much to do during the warmer months, we've narrowed down the options to this list of ten of the best outdoor (and indoor) places to go with your beau or babe on a dream date -- with plenty of cheap or free options, too!...

7) Take a Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Tour in downtown Denver
Get to know the city's many amazing displays of public art through these expertly guided tours.
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Denver using street art to cover street art? - 9News
by Kimberly Cox
Monday, June 30, 2014

Denver is funding an urban-arts program that is giving local artists a chance to shine and getting rid of graffiti at the same time.

The program is intended to give professional art to areas in the city with a history of vandalism.
View video.

Concrete Canvas – Brazilian and Denver Artists Paint the Cherry Creek Path - 303 Magazine
by Lindsey Bartlett
Friday, June 27, 2014

A new Denver Art Walk has been born. Brilliant Brazilian and Denver artists have created two stunning new murals at the intersection of the Cherry Creek Bike Path and the South Platte, just along Little Raven and 15th Street in Denver. Thanks to the UAF, the path which has always been a spot for illegal tagging is now beautifully claimed and completely transformed.
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Concrete Canvas – ‘Outside In 303′ Celebrates Latin American Artists - 303 Magazine
by Lindsey Bartlett
Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Museo de las Americas in the Art District on Santa Fe celebrates the new generation of Latin American artists in Denver with Outside In 303. The collection of work represents the modern voice, a perfected hand in the challenges of multi-modal craft, and a wild and varying American point of view. The stunning exhibition opened on June 19 and will run for the rest of the summer until September 21. It shines an important spotlight on Colorado and Latin American artists’ influence into the modern century.
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Creator of historic ‘Broncho Buster’ sculpture to receive public attribution - Colorado Public Radio
by Stephanie Wolf
Monday, June 23, 2014

After nearly a century of anonymity, the City of Denver will officially credit Colorado bronze artist Alexander Phimister Proctor for the creation of two major sculptures in Denver’s Civic Center Park.

The pair of works depicting quintessential Old West images -- a cowboy, a Native American rodeo rider and bucking broncos -- have maintained their place in the Park since the early 1920s.
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Old West sculptures in Denver's Civic Center park get new attention - The Denver Post
By Colleen O'Connor
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Most people have forgotten who created the iconic Old West sculptures in Civic Center, but the Denver Art Museum is happy to refresh the cultural memory.

At 5 p.m. June 24, a plaque will be dedicated to Alexander Phimister Proctor, who made the monumental statues "Broncho Buster" and "On the War Trail."
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A Public Display - Denver Westword
By Bree Davies

Denver has an impressive collection of public art — and tonight (June 21, 2014), some of those pieces will be in the spotlight during the Twilight Bike Tour, a two-wheeled spin around the city put on by Denver Arts & Venues.
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SlowCity - One Day in Denver

On April 26, 2014, 27 people walked 13.5 miles across the city of Denver in search of expereinces which fuel the yearning for a slow city. A slow city where people get out of their cars and connect with the delightful and gritty nuances that make Denver home. And, where people travel at a speed where they can connect with their environment and one another. On their travels, they visited several Denver Public Art pieces and Urban Arts Fund murals.
View video.

Ten things to do on a Denver stay-cation - Denver Westword
By Susan Froyd
Thursday, June 5, 2014

There's a reason why tourists crowd Denver's city streets each summer: It's a happening town and sports valhalla, with pro teams, adventurous and ethnic eateries, a downtown mall, urban neighborhoods, a gallery scene, great museums, miles of greenway trails and all the promise of that blue mountainscape on the horizon... Beyond knowledge of a few famous pieces, like the Colorado Convention Center's big blue bear and DIA's raging blue Mustang -- how many of Denver's myriad public-art works can you name? Because public art flourishes here, Denver Arts & Venues offers a variety of tailored, guided tours throughout the summer, including a couple of bike tours and even one for tourists on scooters. They're free, and they're a great introduction to Denver's public art in all its sizes, shapes and mediums. Reservations required.
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Denver airport dims iconic mustang for Earth Hour
The Associated Press
Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lights are being dimmed on the giant, red-eyed, blue "Mustang" statue at Denver's airport to draw attention to global warming. In a statement on activities for Earth Hour on Saturday, Kim Day, Denver's manager of aviation says the airport's steps to reduce the world's carbon footprint have included installing water bottle filling stations to encourage travelers to reuse plastic bottles. The airport also was designed to take advantage of natural light during the day. Day says the airport takes climate change seriously.
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Colorado Convention Center is for convening, but also for public art - The Denver Post
By Ray Mark Rinaldi
Saturday, March 29, 2014

No one would mistake the Colorado Convention Center for an art museum. The building has its style — space age on the outside, banquet hall in — but it's a hulking mass of steel and glass at its core, with a 2 million-square-foot interior that accommodates everything but an intimate communion with art.

Still, it seems to be getting closer. This month, the center got a considerable $235,000 infusion of art, eight new pieces, some of them monumental and all of them attention-getting.
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19 Beautiful Images That Prove America's Greatest Art Isn't In A Museum - Huffington Post
By Katherine Brooks
Friday, March 28, 2014

From New York City to Los Angeles, America's greatest cities are home to some of the world's most breathtaking works of art. No, we're not talking about masterpieces housed in museums like the Met or the Getty, though they are undoubtedly beautiful in their own right. We're talking about the impressive feats of visual splendor plastered on the empty walls and underpasses of your hometowns. We're talking about street art.
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Colorado Convention Center Adds $235,000 of Art - Digital Journal
Monday, March 24, 2014

The Colorado Convention Center, already known for its innovative public art that includes the 40-foot high Blue Bear peeking into the building, just added eight new pieces to its permanent collection. The additions are the result of a public-private partnership between the City & County of Denver and the convention center's management firm, SMG, which commissioned the $235,000 project. Denver-based art consulting firm NINE dot ARTS was hired to select and install the new work.
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New public art keeps the 'Big Blue Bear' company - KUSA
by Kirk Montgomery
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Colorado Convention Center has added eight new pieces to its permanent collection. The additions are the result of a public-private partnership between the City and County of Denver and the convention center's management firm, SMG, which commissioned the $235,000 project. Denver-based art consulting firm NINE dot ARTS was hired to select and install the new work.
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DIA's blue horse is already part of Denver traditions - Denver Post
by Brian Kurz
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"There's the blue horse, dada! I see the blue horse!" These words of excitement from my daughter on our most recent trip to see grandma have become a source of inspiration.
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Denver Urban Arts Fund deadline March 31 - Denver Post
By Joe Vaccarelli
Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Denver Arts and Venues is seeking applications for this year's Urban Arts Fund, a graffiti prevention program that creates art murals in areas that are frequently tagged. Applications are due March 31. The Urban Arts Fund has been improving areas frequently attacked by graffiti since 2008, installing art projects by local artists or groups and incorporating youth into the process.
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New sculptures by David Griggs light up Denver County Jail - 7News
By Deb Stanley
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014

The newest art installation outside the Denver County Jail will help light up the area. The art installation is called "Havana Lanterns." The sculptures by David Griggs are made of durable painted steel and translucent fiberglass panels. At night, the integrated LED lighting turns the icons into what the city calls, "luminous beacons, embodying the guiding light of hope and rejuvenation."
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Concrete Canvas: Denver Street Artists Represent at Art Basel - 303 Magazine
By Lindsey Bartlett
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013

Local artists from Denver swapped the snow for the sand this past week at the legendary street-art celebration in Wynwood, Miami known as Art Basel. It is the beginning of December when street-artists from all over the world gather to put their stamp on the Wynwood Walls in this industrial, decked-out area of Miami. Art Basel is the essence of street-art culture in the United States.
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DIA's "Mustang" a reminder of travel's surprises - The Denver Post
By Joshua Berman
Friday, Nov. 29, 2013

"Daddy, where's the blue bronco?" asks my 6-year-old daughter... "It's coming up," I say. "Keep looking..."
I know some people complain about "Mustang..." Yet I am drawn to it and wouldn't want to see it go anywhere. Isn't that the purpose of good art — to get people to talk and feel a little uncomfortable?
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As Denver celebrates 25 years of public art, a few artists question the selection process - Colorado Public Radio
By Ange-Aimée Woods
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

Denver is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its public art program and the Denver International Airport was just named “Best U.S. Airport for Art” in a USA Today travel contest... The Denver Public Art Program was created in 1988 by former mayor Federico Pena. The ordinance requires the city to set aside one percent of any capital improvement project with a budget of more than $1 million to public art.
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100 Colorado Creatives: Michael Chavez - Denver Westword
By Susan Froyd
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013

Michael Chavez had already worked as an artist and curator, experience that prepared him well for his current job as public-art administrator for Denver Arts & Venues. In that role, he both oversees and maintains the city's present collection of 350 works and coordinates new commissions. High on his agenda since he took the job a year ago is the desire to make that process easier for local artists, while supporting new works truly made for all the people, not just a select few. "I love the idea of reaching an audience that's not necessarily looking for it, and hopefully we'll inspire somebody to think of things differently," he told us in an interview last year.
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Denver urban art mural transforms graffiti hot spot - The Denver Post
By Joe Vaccarelli
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013

Excuse the traffic on Park Avenue under the Interstate 25 bridge. There's a lot more to see there now. A new mural that takes up the entire west side of the underpass is near completion and features local poetry and art. The project was funded as part of the Denver Urban Arts Fund as an anti-graffiti project in a hot spot for activity. Local artist Brenda Cleary led the project and worked with her family, some students from Emily Griffith High School and other volunteers.
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Concrete Canvas: Denver Urban Arts Fund Celebrates Street Art with a Purpose - 303 Magazine
By Lindsey Bartlett
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

Members of Denver Arts and Venues along with local master and youth artists met this past week at the 3rd annual Urban Arts Forum. The event offered insight to the monumental reach of urban arts not just into the community, but the lives of underprivileged youth. The Urban Arts Fund provides a positive outlet for kids and allows them to take part in sanctioned masterpieces for the whole city to enjoy.
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"Beyond Blue" exhibit celebrates Denver's public art program - The Denver Post
By Joe Vaccarelli
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

In 1988, Denver Mayor Federico Peña thought public art was so important he made an executive order to establish a public art program. Now, 25 years later, Denver Arts and Venues is celebrating that program, which was adopted into city ordinance in 1991, with a special exhibit called "Beyond Blue." The public art program ensures that all capital improvements that cost more than $1 million have 1 percent of their of budgets set aside for an art project. "Beyond Blue" will be shown on the third floor of the McNichols Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave., and in the lobby of the Buell Theater.
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From "Mustang" to the blue bear, Beyond Blue celebrates 25 years of public art in Denver - Denver Westword
By Scott Lentz
Monday, Oct. 21 2013

Denver is celebrating 25 years of the city's public art program with Beyond Blue, an exhibition running through December 22 in the lobbies of the Buell Theatre and the McNichols Civic Center Building, where it held an opening reception on October 17.
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Transforming a Community One Brush Stroke at a Time - Milken Educator Awards, Connections
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013

We’re told we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. What about an entire school? Six years ago, Denver Public Schools' Brown International Academy’s white walls—its proverbial cover—were plagued with tagging and vandalism on a weekly basis...it was a regular battle between facility managers and taggers marking their turf. Like raising a flag on a conquered land, the vandals' message was so loud and clear that it likely contributed to parents' reluctance to enroll their children at Brown. Literally and metaphorically, things were not looking good. Visual arts teacher Barth Quenzer—“Mr. Q” to his students—believed, however, that if vandals could mark their territory with spray paint, the community could reclaim it the same way and learn valuable lessons in the process. Treating the school’s walls as the community’s canvas, Barth embarked on a five-year transformation project as dramatic as any “Extreme Makeover” you’ve seen on TV.
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Concrete Canvas: Colorado Crush 2013 Street-Art Celebration Part 2 - 303 Magazine
By Lindsey Bartlett
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013

Local and national street-artists dominated Denver in a big way for Colorado Crush 2013, covering over three blocks and thousands of feet of fence and concrete. The pieces had been worked on intermittently throughout the week leading up to the event and were finished last Saturday in the end of summer heat. Every artist that came out did unbelievable work. Before you see this public art in person, here are some of my favorite new murals painted in this years Colorado Crush 2013.
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Denver StreetHeart Encourages People to Connect with the City Through Street Art - Denver Westword Show and Tell
By Nathalia Vélez
Tuesday, Sept. 17

Adam Lichty wants Denverites to walk more -- and see a lot more. That's the motivation for Denver Streetheart, which collects street art from around the city and shares photos on Instagram with Lichty's 1,500 followers. But he doesn't want the experience to stop there. He wants people to go out and see the art for themselves. "One of the many goals is to get people to see the work, know where the work is at," he explains. "If they're out and about with a little bit of time, or if they're going from point A to B, it's really easy just to hop on the Instagram channel, look at the map and go, 'Okay, what's around me? Can I diverge my path by a block or two and enjoy some street art?'"
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Graffiti art of Colorado Crush - Denver Westword Slideshows
Photos by Antonio Valenzuela
Monday, Sept. 9, 2013

A full day of graffiti -- and no one had to run from the police. Street artists from around the state gathered on Saturday to battle it out on walls along Walnut and Larimer. Entertainment included sets by Maxilla Blue and Boogie Blind.
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Colorado Crush: In Celebration of Hip-Hop - Eye Candy, Hip Hop Roll Call
By Nicole Cormier
Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013

Though we support any event that features Colorado hip-hop artists on the bill, we haven’t put our full backing behind many events. That said, we are a proud sponsor of Colorado Crush, and we’re excited to advocate and put full energy in the success of this particular party, for several reasons... The graffiti community will be repping hard for Colorado Crush, and themselves this weekend, but they aren’t the only ones. The sponsorship and public support of the City and County of Denver and the Urban Arts Fund has been groundbreaking. It’s rare for the graffiti community and the city to see eye to eye, as the art is often looked at as vandalism from a bureaucratic perspective, but the times are changing. Above and beyond their support of Colorado Crush, the Denver mayor, Michael Hancock will be addressing the crowd during the event.
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Public Art — Beyond Murals and Sculptures - lies like truth (Blog)
By Chloe Veltman
Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

I took a public art walking tour around Denver recently. The stuff is everywhere... What’s most interesting to me, though, are the pieces that go beyond the standard public art terrain of monolithic sculptures and WPA murals. On the two-hour walking tour I took with Denver Public Art Administrator Rudi Cerri, there were quite a few examples of pieces that go beyond the usual fare, helping to redefine the definition of what public art is and should be.
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Denver artist paints South Broadway mural to help combat graffiti - The Denver Post
By Ally Marotti
Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013

On a street where graffiti seems never out of the line of sight, one local artist is fighting airbrush with paintbrush. Patrick McGregor is hand-painting a mural on the side of Brushstrokes Studio-Gallery on South Broadway, in part to deter graffiti artists from tagging the building.
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Art for the Masses: Denver's Public Art Program Turns 25 - Confluence Denver
By Jamie Siebrase
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If you're adamantly opposed to PDAs -- that's public displays of art, not affection -- you've probably landed in the wrong city. With a current collection of about 330 public pieces, some commissioned on the taxpayer's dime, others privately funded, Denver's amassed approximately three-fourths the amount of public art lining New York's streets, and that's only the beginning of the story.
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Street artist David Choe paints a new piece at 13th and Champa streets - Denver Westword Show and Tell
By Trevor Andersen
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Savvy street-art fans might have noticed that a new work has appeared by the foot bridge that traverses the intersection of 13th and Champa streets. The murals that already filled that space are now accompanied by more works by the same artist -- with permission from the city.
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The Marek Walczak and Wes Heiss Interview - Untitled Art Show
Monday, May 27, 2013

Erik Isaac and Michael Keen welcome artists, Marek Walczak and Wes Heiss of artist team Walczak & Heiss to discuss the public artwork, ‘Fourteenth Street Overlay’ on The Untitled Art Show. The Untitled Art Show is a weekly, internet talk-radio show focused on visual art and the visual art world.
Listen to the full podcast here.

14th Street Overlay adds 23 sculptures -- and some surprises -- to 14th Street - Denver Westword
By Zoe Yabrove
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Denver has a new piece of public art, 14th Street Overlay, which comprises 23 optic-based sculptures by artists Merek Walczak and Wes Heiss. "We are very excited to dedicate this piece as part of the greater 14th Street improvements," said Michael Chavez, manager of Denver's Public Art Program, at yesterday's dedication.

Mayor Michael Hancock was one of the many proud Denverites on hand to welcome 14th Street Overlay. "The heartbeat of a world-class city is the public art," he told the crowd.
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14th Street turns into “Treasure Hunt”? - Colorado Convention Center Blog
By Morgan Carrero
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Since 2002, the 14th Streetscape project has transformed the street that welcomes many visitors to Downtown Denver.  Thanks to the Downtown Denver Partnership,  The Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, the City and County of Denver and The 14th Street property owners, 14th Street has inherited over 150 trees, bike racks, amazing lighting, and much more. But that’s not all…

Artists Walczak & Heiss along with the Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Program have formally dedicated Denver’s newest public artwork, The 14th Street Overlay. 
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A Little Place Called Denver - Confluence Denver
By Kara Pearson Gwinn
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Denver, the beer definitely flows like wine, but women flocking like the salmon of Capistrano? We’ll leave that to Lloyd Christmas. This photo essay walks us through a city defined by collaboration, vibrancy, entrepreneurship, innovation, microbrews, fitness and creativity.
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