Sentimental Journey

What does Colorado look like to you?

To American Airlines passengers stuck at Denver International Airport last week, it must have looked like the back of that fleece the guy ahead of them in line was wearing. That, and endless fast-food meals and frustration. Too bad the FAA couldn't wait a couple of weeks to ground those planes, because DIA has just installed "What Does Colorado Look Like to You?," a new exhibit that stretches across the bridge leading to the A concourse.

Last fall, DIA had asked state residents to submit fifty-word responses to the question "What does Colorado look like to you?" More than 300 Coloradans — everyone from driving instructors to songwriters to students — obliged with sentiments both "real profound and real fun," according to Matt Chasansky, DIA's public-art administrator. After a committee of local tastemakers including Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick weeded through the submissions, the public-art office shared the surviving statements with local artists who'd responded to a call for entries. Each artist could pick two statements as inspiration, and the resulting creations then went to another committee.


Denver International Airport

The result is an eighty-work exhibit, with the words that inspired the pieces posted below. And what does Colorado look like to these people?

"Colorado's weather changes like a chameleon," wrote one.

"The view of the sunlit Front Range mountains from the plane is always a different one," said marketing professional Kelley Baily. "Always blue, but always different. The number of blue hues is too vast to count. It is a constantly changing portrait that fills me with joy, wonder and gratitude. Every minute. Every day."

"Colorado looks like a big square box, where everyone comes to visit," offered Ciara Reilon, a student in Edwards. "In the summer, it's a big green thing to hang around."

This exhibit will be hanging around well past the summer, giving travelers heading to the Democratic National Convention a fast glimpse of the place they'll be visiting. Assuming their planes ever get off the ground, that is.


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