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Bringing the Outside In

Create Denver has a new home in the city-run McNichols Building in Civic Center Park, and to show it off, the group is hosting City Beautiful 2.0: A Modern Interpretation of the Built Environment, a four-part exhibition and experiment in integrating modern environments. It all begins with the City Beautiful movement instigated in 1904 by then-mayor Robert Speer; the whole idea is to update his 20th-century vision for Denver in 21st-century terms.

"My intention was to play with what that space can do -- how do we purpose it in a Create Denver type of way?" says Create Denver program manager Lisa Gedgaudas. To that end, she's taken the building's third floor, which comes with stunning 360-degree views of the city, and applied four "layers," beginning with an architectural view of the former Carnegie library and continuing with artistic dialogue on its physical situation in the park and role as a meeting place, and ending up with its repurposing as an open co-working space.

How that's done is an exploratory voyage, blending old photos and architectural renderings, site-specific installations by Lauri Lynnxe Murphy and Eric Dallimore, and smart, modular office furniture by Matt Scobey and Scott Bennett of Housefish.

Dallimore, for instance, will be installing trees and moss in order to start a conversation about Civic Center Park. "How can we bring the park into the building and break down those barriers?" Gedgaudas asks.

The trees, she notes, are a way of "bringing in the smells of earth and springtime." The culminating element will be an outdoor solstice celebration on June 21, complete with a complex video-mapping display on the building after dark.

City Beautiful 2.0 opened to the public last week and continues through June 23; a reception is planned for tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: May 2. Continues through June 23, 2013


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