In 1988, Denver’s Public Art Program was established under Mayor Federico Pena. Today, it is administered by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. Within 20 years, the City has installed more than 150 works of art under this program. All this work, along with historic and donated art, makes up Denver’s impressive and diverse public art collection.
Who selects those pieces of art? It is a public process that includes artists, citizens, and design professionals. Members of various panels are asked to select works of art that represents the city and select artists that can engage the viewer, inform, and add to Denver’s cultural scene. The Denver Office of Cultural Affairs lists 12 themed cultural itineraries to guide you around Denver, for example: African American Arts & Culture, Asian Arts and Culture, Denver’s Western Heritage, Kid’s Arts & Cultural Attractions…. So, grab your kids and a Public Art Guide and explore the many faces of public art in Denver. Free guides are available on the website. And there’s even more on the site: Not only will you find the art itineraries, but also information on festivals, galleries, museums, theaters, bookstores, family activities, restaurants, night life, and other attractions. Complimentary Guided Tours for you and your family are also available through Denver Arts & Venues.
Some Samples of Public Art:
“Big Sweep” by Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Odenber; painted aluminum. South side of 13th Ave in front of the DAM.
“I See What You Mean” by Lawrence Argent; composite materials. 14th Street outside the main entrance to the Convention Center.
“Dancers” by Jonathan Borofsky; fiberglass and steel. In the Denver Performing Arts Complex’s sculpture park.
“Mustang” by Luis Jimenez; cast fiberglass. Pena Blvd at DIA.