Saturday, February 24, 2007

Denver Public Art

Overnight here in Douglas County, we got several inches of snow. On Interstate 70 just south of Denver International Airport, the roads were so bad that it caused a 35-car pileup, and the highway is closed in both directions from there to Kansas. Weirdly enough, downtown Denver apparently got no new snow at all. Once the skies started clearing late this morning, I decided to go take some pictures. Here are a few of them.

First of all, let's take a look at the big blue bear, who spends his time peering into the windows of the Colorado Convention Center.

Do you wonder what he is looking at? Just inside the windows was this sign giving directions to an event being held there this weekend.

Next, let's go over to the area near the Capitol and the Denver public buildings. The Denver Museum of Art is located there in its striking new building. There is a piece of sculpture there that every one will recognize from daily life. It looks like it is the right size for the blue bear to use when tidying up around the den. The picnic tables on the left, and the pedestrians on the right should give you an idea of the scale here.

Situated beside the main location of the Denver Public Library is a sculpture of a giant chair, again the right size for our friend, the Convention Center Blue Bear. However, the bear will have to chase its current occupant out of the way first. Standing watch over civic center park, atop the chair, is a horse. Actually, this sculpture is called "The Yearling" by artist Donald Lipski. It is meant to recall the days of childhood, when ordinary things looked monumental. It spent some time in New York's Central Park prior to coming to Denver. Here is what the library's website has to say about it:

The red chair is 21 feet tall and ten feet wide, and the pinto pony is six feet tall at the ears. The scale of this work is meant to recall that time in life when even everyday objects seemed monumental.

“The Yearling” was originally commissioned for an elementary school in upper Manhattan. Says Lipski about this work, “I wanted to give kids something that would really be a cause for wonder.” When the school district asked Lipski to omit the horse, he refused, saying, “It just lost all its magic.” The sculpture spent 1997 in New York City’s Central Park, where it was widely acclaimed before traveling to Denver in 1998 for permanent installation. “If it makes people stop and feel something they haven’t felt before, I’m happy,” commented the artist, shortly before “The Yearling” was moved.

This sculpture was generously donated to former Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb and the people of Denver by the NBT Foundation.

Finally today, here is an American Indian display located between the library and the art museum. There is a circle of these red objects, all decorated with text and symbols about various events significant to the native American community.

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