Denver Public Art Tours

Art and architecture lovers are invited to participate in a series of free walking and biking Public Art Tours throughout the city each summer.  These guided tours focus on small segments of the City’s Public Art Collection and give citizens and visitors the opportunity to venture inside venues such as the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Colorado Convention Center, and outdoor venues such as Civic Center Park, to view new and historic works and hear the intimate details of their creation and installation.

The Denver Public Art Program is one of the most respected in the country, with a collection of nearly 350 pieces, found along streets, over bridges, in and around buildings old and new, in all mediums. Tours are free, but most are limited to 15 people.

2015 Free Public Art Tour Schedule
Walk | Bike |Scooter

 

WALKING TOURS

 

Colorado Convention Center Public Art Tour
Sundays, 1 - 2:30 p.m. May 10, June 14, July 12, July 26 and August 16. 

Why is that escalator laughing at me? And, what’s with the big blue bear peering through the window? Get these answers, plus experience more public art specifically selected to reflect Denver and Colorado’s culture on this fun and educational tour of public artwork in the Colorado Convention Center. Tours will be led by Arts & Venues Public Art Docents, Rebecca Moore and Rosalie Martin.

Tours meet inside the Colorado Convention Center next to the glass by I See What You Mean aka The Big Blue Bear at 700 E. 14th Street between Stout and California streets.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people per tour)

Denver Performing Arts Complex Tour
Sundays, 1:30 - 3 p.m. May 17, May 24, August 16 and September 6.

The Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC) is one of the most impressive performing arts centers in the world, featuring 10 performance spaces connected by an 80-foot-tall glass canopy and world-class art to match. Participants will learn about Stephen Batura’s epic mural Rehearsal in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, with all of its fascinating characters and scintillating stories.

John DeAndrea’s hyper-realistic sculptures will make you look twice – are those ballerinas breathing?  Get a new perspective on Jonathan Borofsky’s Dancers in the DPAC Sculpture Park by standing directly underneath the 60-foot sculptures and listening to the music composed by the artist himself to accompany the dancing giants. Tours will be lead by Arts & Venues Public Art Docents, Michael Barger, Rosalie Martin, and Djamila Ricciardi. 

Tours meet at the entrance to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on 14th and Curtis streets.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people per tour) 

Curtis Street Public Art Tour
Thursday, May 28. 6 - 7 p.m.

You will be amazed at the quality and amount of art visible within two square blocks on and around Curtis Street, the heart of Denver’s Theater District.  Witness some of Denver’s oldest murals done by Allen True and just steps away take in some recent works in Denver’s public art collection by the artist team of Walczak and Heiss.  The artworks on this tour tend to be colorful, big and playful. Join Public Art Coordinator, Brendan Picker on this spring evening tour.  

Tour meets at the Colorado Convention Center next to I See What You Mean, aka The Big Blue Bear at 700 E. 14th Street between Stout and California streets.  

RSVP (Limited to 15 people) 

 

Play Tour 
Saturday, June 20 and Wednesday, June 24. 10 - 11:30 a.m.

In partnership with RedLine, we will explore how playfulness intersects with the processes and products of art making, encouraging viewers to access their own imagination through participatory installations. We will focus on elements in RedLine's Press Play exhibit at the McNichols Building featuring New Media artworks and we will also play a game of hopscotch as part of Playgrounds. Tours will be lead by Arts & Venues Public Art Docent, Djamila Ricciardi.

Tours meet outside the McNichols Building at 144 W. Colfax Ave.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people per tour) 

14th Street Tour
Thursday, June 25. 6 - 7 p.m.

Tour participants will stroll along 14th Street, part of Denver’s downtown revitalization, to experience some of Denver’s most iconic artwork including Lawrence Argent’s I See What You Mean, also known as The Big Blue Bear. Other features include artwork within the Denver Performing Arts Complex and The 14th Street Overlay by Walczak and Heiss. Public Art Coordinator Brendan Picker will lead the tour, which covers about a half mile of 14th Street.

Tour meets at the Wellington E. Webb at 201 W. Colfax Ave. on the building plaza at Colfax Avenue and concludes at the Denver Performing Arts Complex at 14th and Curtis Street.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people)  

In Touch with Art: Tactile public art tour for visually impaired Wednesdays, 2 - 3 p.m. July 1 and July 29. 

Ever wonder what the Blue Bear (Lawrence Argent’s I See What You Mean) feels like? Find out in this interactive hands-on tour. Hear the stories of some of Denver’s most iconic public art and experience the many textures and sounds of the city. Highlighting anecdotes about the work of several contemporary artists, this outdoor walking tour will encompass about 1 mile and will include visual descriptions, touchable objects and guided looking/touching exercises. Terrain is wheelchair accessible. This unique tour is designed for all to enjoy, with particular emphasis on those who are blind or vision impaired. Tour will be lead by Arts & Venues Public Art Docent, Djamila Ricciardi.

Tours meets at the Colorado Convention Center next to I See What You Mean, aka The Big Blue Bear at 700 E. 14th Street between Stout and California streets.

RSVP (Limited to 10 people per tour)

Burns Park Tour 
Saturday, August 8. 10 - 11 a.m.

Have you ever wondered about the sculptures in the triangle park along Colorado Blvd, Alameda Ave and Leetsdale Dr. Join DIA Public Art Coordinator Mandy Renaud, as she gives you the inside scoop on this historic sculpture park.

Tour meets at the SE corner of Burns Park, by the black and red sculpture.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people) 

City Park Art and Fountains Tour 
Sunday, August 9. 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Tour participants will board buses to visit roughly a dozen artworks including the historical sculptures, fountains and gateways of City Park on this tour led by DIA Public Art Coordinator Mandy Renaud and by Denver Parks and Recreation Field Supervisor Harry Hill. The tour will include recent public art additions such as Iridescent Cloud located near the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Avian Front located along the south end of the Denver Zoo. Harry Hill will lead a discussion on the history and color of the fountains; how they operate and on-going issues faced with operation and maintenance.  Participants will be required to sign a release form.

Tour meets at the Thatcher Fountain at 17th Avenue and City Park Esplanade. Look for parking available on the street inside City Park.

RSVP (Limited to 30 people)

Cherry Creek Trail Mural Tour with artist Jaime Molina 
Saturday, August 15. 10 - 11:30 a.m.

The Urban Arts Fund Program continues to install and highlight incredible murals along the Cherry Creek Trail. Westword Magazine featured these murals as the “Best Citywide Arts Collaboration 2015.” This past summer, beautiful, cosmopolitan street-smart murals blossomed everywhere, as teams of artists painted along the Cherry Creek, thanks to the funding from the city’s Urban Arts Fund graffiti-prevention program. Individual collaborators include local artists Emmanuel Martinez,  Jaime Molina, Pedro Barrios and Joseph Martinez to international artists such as Brazil’s Bruno Novelli, Claudio Ethos (Ethos) and Alex Hornest (Onesto). Tour will be lead by Mary Valdez, Public Art Coordinator, along with local artist Jaime Molina.

Tour meets at the brown bridge at Confluence Park.

RSVP (Limited to 20 people) 

Connecting LODO to LOHI Tour
Sunday, August 23.10:30 - 12 p.m.

Explore the connection between Lower Downtown (LODO) and the vibrant Highlands (LOHI) neighborhood through public art.  Meet at LODO’s Wynkoop Plaza, in front of Union Station to appreciate one of Denver’s newest public art additions. Traverse assorted bridges over railroad tracks, through high-rise developments, bisecting parks, crossing rivers and highways to LOHI!  Take in Venet’s 222.5* Arc x5 (steel rings miniature of Indeterminate Line at Convention Center along Speer) and Grygutis’ Common Ground (namesake of the Commons Park).  Culminate with John McEnroe’s National Velvet at the foot of the pedestrian bridge across I-25.  Appreciate the range of public art tying Downtown to one of its most vibrant urban neighborhoods. Tour guide Josh Comfort, is an architect of numerous LODO loft projects and current member of Denver’s Commission for Cultural Affairs.

Tour meets at Wynkoop Plaza at the foot of the bridge by the North Wing of Union Station (1701 Wynkoop).

RSVP (Limited to 15 people) 

Denver Civic Center and Denver Art Museum Campus Tour 
Thursday, August 27. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

This tour covers a broad array of historical and contemporary public artworks in Denver. Beginning with the classic 20th century bronze sculptures of Alexander Proctor's On the War Trail and Broncho Buster, as well as the intriguing landscape and architecture of Civic Center Park; the tour will also explore the contemporary works outside of the Denver Public Library and the Denver Art Museum. From Cowboys and Indians to a big red chair with a miniature horse, an oversized broom and abstract sculpture, this tour displays the evolution of public art in and around Denver's Civic Center. Tour will be led by Public Art Coordinator, Brendan Picker and Curatorial Assistant for Contemporary Art at the DAM, Zoe Larkins.

Tour meets at the blue sculpture, Coral Sphere, directly in front of the McNichols Building at 144 W. Colfax Ave.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people) 

Urban Arts Fund Mural Tour
Sunday, September 13. 3 - 4 p.m.

Check out the Urban Arts Fund Colorado Crush Mural Tour that stretches along the west alley way of Larimer St. between 26th & 28th Avenues. This is an urban walking tour exploring the murals of local and national street artists that now enliven the once drab and dark alleyways. These saturated and colorful murals are admired by young hipsters, local businesses and RiNo District community at large. Tour led by Public Art Coordinator Mary Valdez along with local artists

Tour meets at 26th and Larimer, west parking lot.

RSVP (Limited to 20 people) 

DIA Tour
Coming November 2015!

Join DIA Public Art Coordinator Mandy Renaud, in an exclusive tour of the brand new Hotel and Transit Center commissions showcasing local and international artists. What makes the art here unique is the environment. The artists are responding to the very specific experience and unique architecture of DIA.

BIKE TOURS
The popular and free Denver public art bicycle tours return in 2015. Bike tours last approximately 1½–2 hours, with a distance of almost three miles making use of available bike routes and paths. All participants are required to wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet (and lights for the Twilight Tour). Participants must sign a release form and will need to provide their own bike, water, food and repair kits.

 

Downtown Denver Bike Tour
Sundays, 10 - 11:30 a.m. May 24 and September 13. 

Led by Public Art Administrator, Rudi Cerri (5/24) and Public Art Coordinator, Brendan Picker (9/13), tour highlights include artwork at Denver Skate Park, Commons Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Colorado Convention Center.  

Tours meet and end at City of Cuernavaca Park, located at 20th and Platte streets, at the pavilion across from the parking lot.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people) 

Morrison Road Bike Tour with artist Carlos Fresquez
Saturday, June 20. 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Check out the public art along Morrison Road, Westwood neighborhood in southwest Denver while riding your bike. An urban biking experience of local and national artists featuring numerous examples of murals painted along the Morrison Road corridor. Tour led by Public Art Coordinator Mary Valdez.

Tour meets at the corner of S. Sheridan Blvd. and Morrison Road by the Carlos Fresquez sculpture. Tour ends at 3738 Morrison Rd.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people) 

Twilight Bike Tour
Saturday, September 5. 8 - 9:30 p.m.

See Denver’s public art collection in a whole new light. Featured artworks will include: Virginia Folkestad’s Current 3, Adam Frank’s SUNLIGHT and Erick C. Jonson’s Bottom of the Night. Bike tour led by Denver Arts and Venues Public Art Administer, Rudi Cerri

Tour meets and ends at the McNichols Building at 144 W. Colfax Ave.

RSVP (Limited to 15 people)

SCOOTER TOUR
The Scooter Tour will be approximately two hours. All participants will be required to wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet and eye protection.  Participants must sign a release form and will need to provide their own scooter, water, food and repair kits.

Scooter Public Art Tour
Saturday, August 1. 1 - 3 p.m.

Join Rudi Cerri Denver Public Art Administrator, Adam Lerner Director & Chief Animator at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Lauren Wright Artistic Director and Curator of the 2015 Biennial of the Americas, on a daytrip scooter tour to some of Denver’s most iconic public artworks; with special stops at the Biennial of the Americas venues! The tour starts at the historical McNichols Building, in Civic Center, and ends on the rooftop MCA Café.

Tour meets outside the McNichols Building at 144 W. Colfax Ave. and tour ends at the Museum of Contemporary Art (1485 Delgany St.).

RSVP

FOR MORE INFORMATION
View Full 2015 Free Denver Public Art Tour Schedule:  http://denverpublicarttours.eventbrite.com

For Denver Public Art Tour questions, please contact:  
Rudi Cerri at rudi.cerri@denvergov.org or 720-865-4307
Brendan Picker at brendan.picker@denvergov.org or 720-865-4302

SELF GUIDED TOURS
It might sound like science-fiction, but it's called Augmented Reality, and it's the addition of information to the world around you. Using a free program on your iPhone, Android or other smartphone, you can see public art points of interest as layers on top of the world you see. Find out more...

PHONECASTS
Denver's Public Art Program is offering Public Art Phonecasts of our most popular artworks. From any phone, dial 1-877-336-2787 (1-877-DEN-ARTS) to hear short interviews with the artists talking about their works.