A testament to the city’s commitment to the arts, the Denver Public Arts Program requires that one percent of any major building project over $1 million be set aside for public art. The artwork collection has no boundaries and ranges from traditional to whimsical, from visual to audio art. A few of the pieces include:

· “I See What You Mean” (aka The Big Blue Bear) by Lawrence Argent: One of Denver’s most iconic public arts sculptures, the 40-foot tall, blue bear peeks into the Colorado Convention Center in Downtown Denver, and is a popular photo op for visitors.

· “Laughing Escalator” by Jim Green: The most hilarious piece of installed artwork in Denver is the recorded audio track of people belly-laughing alongside riders on the Colorado Convention Center’s escalator.

· “Mustang” by Luis Jimenez: A gleaming, 32-foot tall blue mustang greets visitors as they exit (or enter) Denver International Airport. Look for his glowing red eyes, a nod to the artists’ youth in his father’s neon sign shop. *Photo Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

· “The Yearling” by Donald Lipski: A life-size horse perched atop a 21-foot orange chair sits directly in front of the Denver Public Library. Prior to its permanent placement in Denver, the sculpture spent a year in New York City’s Central Park.

· “Dancers” by Jonathan Borofsky: At a height of 60-feet, these whimsical dancers made of steel and fiberglass welcome theatre-goers to the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Speakers located nearby provide music to the joyful sculptures.

Denver’s Artistic Neighborhoods

Denver’s creative energy is felt within thriving artist neighborhoods around the city. From First Friday events that allow an unprecedented glimpse of local artists’ studios, gallery spaces and creative works in all mediums to large-scale art festivals in the city’s bountiful parks, thousands of art enthusiasts are attracted to the Mile High City.

· First Fridays Art Walk (year-round): Every first Friday of the month, thousands of art lovers flood into the creative neighborhoods throughout Denver: The Arts District on Santa Fe, Tennyson Street Art District, the Golden Triangle Museum District and River North (RiNo) Art District. Several neighborhoods are also starting second Saturday’s, allowing even more opportunity to have access to amazing, local art.

· Downtown Denver Arts Festival (May 27-30): Over Memorial Day Weekend, sports enthusiasts can head to Coors Field to catch a Rockies home game, but art lovers will stroll down the 16th Street Mall for the shops, outdoor cafés and the Downtown Denver Arts Festival for the entire holiday weekend. The Mall will also be jam-packed with musicians on Denver Day of Rock (May 28), with five outdoor stages and over 20 bands performing free concerts.

· Denver Chalk Arts Festival (June 4-5): The streets of Larimer Square are transformed into a giant canvas by hundreds of artists, professional, amateur and students alike, who recreate masterpieces and original works with vivid pastel chalk on the city sidewalks.

· Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 2-4): During the Fourth of July weekend, Denver’s Cherry Creek Shopping District hosts one of the largest fine arts and crafts exhibitions in the nation. The arts festival draws more than 350,000 people each year.

· Denver Arts Week (Nov. 4-12): From performing to visual, Denver celebrates the arts through a week of festivities in November which includes the Starz Denver Film Festival, Night at the Museums and artist neighborhood tours and gallery showings.

Visitors can find a “Downtown Public Art Walking Tour” itinerary and detailed information about other art events on the VISIT DENVER website.

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“Mustang” Photo Credit: Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

For hi-res images, please contact Katie Adamson, kadamson@visitdenver.com