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Great art isn’t just in museums in Denver. All over the city, you’ll find gorgeous murals, whimsical sculptures and other kinds of public art that will delight and inspire.
Denver’s Public Art Program directs that 1 percent of any capital improvement project of more than $1 million be set aside for the inclusion of art in the design and construction of these projects. Over the past two decades, Denver has installed more than 150 works of art under this program. A large amount of the city’s public art can be found downtown and in the Golden Triangle Creative District – here’s a walking tour of the area that will take you to some of the best and most beloved pieces.
There's plenty of amazing visual art inside the Denver Art Museum, but as you walk around this Mile High City landmark, you'll find several amazing artworks. There's the painted steel of Mark di Suvero's Lao Tzu, Coosje Van Brugen and Claes Oldenberg's aptly-named giant-sized broom and dustpan, The Big Sweep, and Dan Ostermiller's lifelike (but also giant-sized) Scottish Angus Cow and Calf, just to name a few. Take a half hour or so to explore the grounds, take some pictures and enjoy these amazing creations.
Around the corner from the Convention Center, at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, you'll encounter Jonathan Borofsky's immense fiberglass Dancers, two 50-foot-high humanoid beings cavorting on the lawn in front of the complex. There's even music piped in 24 hours a day, so you can join in with their perpetual dance.
Make your way to the end of the 16th Street Mall to Lower Downtown (LoDo) to locals. Check out the towering Union Spire at 14th and Wazee, the charming Pinhorn Statue and Drinking Fountain, designed by Clara Soanson Dieman in 1924 and the whimsical, colorful Petros on the Cherry Creek Path between Larimer and Speer, created by Bill Gian. This itinerary only covers tiny fraction of the public art in Denver.
See a different side of the city as you explore street art, murals and graffiti. Denver Graffiti Tour provides leisurely two-hour strolls through the vibrant River North Art District (RiNo). Not only will you learn about the artists and their work, but get insider tips on go-to bars and hip restaurants.