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. For more information, please contact Rudi Cerri at rudi.cerri@denvergov.org or 720-865-4307

2014 Public Art Tour Schedule

Walking Tours 

Colorado Convention Center – Sundays, May 11, June 8 & Aug. 17, 10-11:30am
Why is that escalator laughing at me?  And what’s with the big blue bear peering through the window? Get the answers, plus see Denver’s 300 million-year history unfold in a short 100-foot walk on this fun and educational tour of public artwork in the Colorado Convention Center. 

Tours are led by Denver Public Art docents Rebecca Moore and Rosalie Martin. Tour participants will meet at the Colorado Convention Center next to “The Big Blue Bear” on 14th Street between Stout and California streets.
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP for the May 11 tour.
RSVP for the June 8 tour.
RSVP for the Aug. 17 tour.

Curtis Street – Thursdays, May 29 & June 5, 5:30-6:30pm  
You will be amazed by the quality and amount of art there is in the two square blocks around Curtis Street in the heart of Denver’s Theatre District. You will see some of Denver’s oldest murals, by Allen True, and just a few steps away you will view the newest works in the Denver Public Art collection by the artist team of Walczak & Heiss.  The artworks on this tour are colorful, big and playful.  

Join Denver Public Art docent Michael Barger on these spring evening tours. The tours will meet at the Colorado Convention Center next to “The Big Blue Bear” on 14th Street between Stout and California streets.
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP for the May 29 tour.
RSVP for the June 5 tour.

In Touch with Art: Tactile Public Art Tour for Visually Impaired - Sunday, June 15, 2-3pm
Ever wonder what “The Big Blue Bear” feels like? Find out in this interactive, hands-on tour. Learn about the stories of some of Denver’s iconic public art and experience the many textures and sounds of the city. Highlighting anecdotes about the works of several contemporary artists, this outdoor walking tour covers about a mile and includes 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 led by Denver Public Art docent Djamila Ricciardi. The tour will meet at the Colorado Convention Center next to ”The Big Blue Bear” on 14th Street between Stout and California streets. 
(Limited to 10 people) 
RSVP.

16th Street Mall – Sunday, June 22 & Saturday, July 26, 10-11:30am
Take a stroll on one of the world’s great urban pedestrian malls, with architect and Denver Public Art docent Josh Comfort. The tour will touch on the architecture, history, future and public art of the one mile long mall.  

The tour will meet at Wynkoop Plaza in front of the newly restored Union Station at 17th and Wynkoop streets in historic Lower Downtown.  
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP for the June 22 tour.
RSVP for the July 26 tour.

Downtown Denver – Sunday, July 6, 10-11:30am 
Downtown Denver is home to a collection of public artworks, from the iconic “Dancers” by Jonathan Borofsky and “I See What You Mean” by Lawrence Argent to the obscure look into Denver's history in Walczak and Heiss' optical sculptures in the “14th Street Overlay.” This tour captures an eclectic array of media such as sculpture, murals and sound installations all within close proximity to the heart of Downtown Denver. Tour will be led by Denver Public Art docent Kate Stern. 
The tours will meet at the Colorado Convention Center next to “The Big Blue Bear” on 14th Street between Stout and California streets.
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP.

Denver Performing Arts Complex –Sundays, July 13 & Aug. 24, 10-11:30am
The Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC) is one of the most impressive performing arts centers in the world, featuring nine performance spaces connected by an 80-foot-tall glass canopy, with 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 beneath the 60-foot sculptures and listening to the music composed by the artist himself to accompany the dancing giants. 

Tours will be led by Denver Public Art docent Rosalie Martin and Public Art Administrator Rudi Cerri. The tours will meet at the entrance to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Curtis and 14th streets.
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP for the July 13 tour.
RSVP for the Aug. 24 tour.

Denver International Airport – Wednesday, July 16, 10-11:30am
Denver International Airport opened its doors in 1995. Much of DIA’s artwork was created at the same time, and this terminal tour will showcase a dozen pieces from the permanent collection, DIA’s Terminal Gallery’s rotating exhibitions, and additional temporary displays. Many of the artists featured in this collection have an international reputation, and can be seen at the world’s most important museums. What makes the art here unique is the environment; the artists respond to the very specific experience and unique architecture of DIA. 

The tour is led by DIA Public Art Coordinator Mandy Renaud and DIA Exhibition Coordinator Tim Vacca. Tour will meet at on the fifth floor, west side, by the gargoyle sculpture just north of door 506, across from baggage claim 16.
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP.

Civic Center – Sunday, July 27, 10-11:30am 
The Civic Center tour covers a broad array of historic and contemporary public artworks in Denver. Beginning with Alexander Proctor's classic 20th century bronze sculptures “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 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 an abstract sculpture, this tour displays the evolution of public art in and around Denver's Civic Center. 

Tour will be led by Denver Public Art docent Kate Stern. Tour participants will meet at the Sea Lions Fountain at the north end of Civic Center Park at Bannock Street and Colfax Ave.  
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP. 

City Park – Sunday, Sept. 7, 10-11:30am
Tour participants will visit roughly a dozen artworks including the historic sculptures and gateways of City Park, along with recent additions such as the MLK Memorial and “Avian Front” by Patrick Marold along the south exterior of the Denver Zoo.

Denver International Airport Public Art Coordinator Mandy Renaud will lead the tour, which starts and ends at the Thatcher Fountain at 17th Avenue and City Park Esplanade.
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP.

Urban Arts Fund Mural Tour – Saturday, Sept. 13, 3-4pm
Check out the Urban Arts Fund Colorado Crush Mural Tour that stretches along the west alleyway of Larimer Street between 26th and 28th streets This tour promises an urban walking experience of local and national street artists’ murals that now enliven this once drab and dark alleyway. Enjoy these colorful murals admired by visitors, local business people and RiNo community members. 

The tour will be led by Public Art Coordinator Mary Valdez. Tour participants will meet at 26th and Larimer streets in the west parking lot.  
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP.

Bike & Scooter Tours

The popular free Denver Public Art bicycle tours will return in 2014. The tours will last approximately two hours, with a distance of almost three miles, and make use of available bike routes and paths. 

*All participants are required to wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet. Bike lights are required for the twilight tour. Participants must sign a release form and will need to provide their own bikes, water, food and repair kits. 
 
Twilight Tour – Saturday, June 21, 8-9:30pm 
See the Denver Public Art collection in a whole new light. Featured artworks will include: Virginia Folkestad’s “Current 3,” Adam Frank’s “SUNLIGHT” and Erick C. Johnson’s “Bottom of the Ninth.” 

Tour participants will meet at the historic McNichols Building at 144 W. Colfax Ave. (corner of Colfax Ave. and Bannock St.) 
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP.

Scooter Public Art Tour – Thursday, Aug. 21, 6-8pm 
In this mod-inspired public art scooter tour (rally), participants will meander throughout the city, stopping at specific artworks to have brief discussions with special guest speakers. The tour will last 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 scooters, water, food and repair kits. Download the release form.

The tour will start and end the McNichols Building at 144 W. Colfax Ave. Stay after the tour for the opening reception of CPAC/Fashion Exhibition. 
RSVP.

Downtown Denver – Sunday, Sept. 7, 10- 12
Led by Public Art Administrator Rudi Cerri, tour highlights include artwork at the Denver Skate Park, Commons Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Colorado Convention Center. 

Tour participants will meet at City of Cuernavaca Park, located at 20th and Platte streets, at the pavilion across from the parking lot.
(Limited to 15 people) 
RSVP.

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.