Denver is celebrating 25 years of the city's public art program with Beyond Blue, an exhibition running through December 22 in the lobbies of the Buell Theatre and the McNichols Civic Center Building, where it held an opening reception on October 17. Many of the 46 artists who created the 75 artworks in show were there -- but not Luis Jimenez. The man responsible for the most iconic piece, "Mustang" (shown on the cake above) was killed while creating the work. See alsoBest Public Art at DIA -- "Mustang," by Luis Jimenez
Denver's Public Art Program was established by Mayor Federico Peña as an executive order, and turned into an ordinance in 1991 by Mayor Wellington E. Webb. It directs that 1 percent of any city capital improvement project of more than $1 million be set aside for the inclusion of art in the design. Today the collection has grown to more than 350 works by such notable artists as Jimenez, Lawrence Argent, Trine Bumiller, John McEnroe and Donald Lipski.
"Public art beautifies our city and supports local, national and international talent," Denver Public Art Program Manager Michael Chavez said at the reception. "The Beyond Blue show lets you see other works from the artists who've created iconic pieces such as the Blue Bear at the Colorado Convention Center and the thought-provoking blue "Mustang" at Denver International Airport. We hope the show will surprise and delight visitors and give them deeper insights into the artists' process and style."
Former mayor Wellington E. Webb was at the reception to talk about the difficulties he faced at the start of the public art project. One challenge was convincing the city it was okay to spend lots of money on a horse standing on a chair -- Donald Lipski's "The Yearling," which stands outside the library by Civic Center Park and is a favorite today.
Keep reading for more photos of the opening reception.
The McNichols portion of Beyond Blue is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Artists featured there: Tyler Aiello, Steven Altman, Darrell Anderson, Lawrence Argent, Barbara Baer, Stephen Batura, Jonathan Borofsky, Trine Bumiller, Michael Clapper, Jim Colbert, Susan Cooper, John Davis, John DeAndrea, Joellyn Duesberry, Gary Emrich, Adam Frank, Michael Gadlin, Cliff Garten, Jim Green, David Griggs, Hollis + Lana, Jill Hadley Hooper, Luis Jiménez, Eric Johnson, Shannon Kelly, Andrew Libertone, Donald Lipski, Nancy Lovendahl, Patrick Marold, Emanuel Martinez, Frank T. Martinez, William Matthews, John McEnroe, Christopher Oar, Dennis Oppenheim, Tony Ortega, Kelton Osborn, Eric Paddock, Daniel Salazar, William Stockman, Sandy Toland, Judith Trager, Bernar Venet and Ann Weber.
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The artists featured in the Buell lobby, open whenever there's a show in the theater: Steven Altman, Darrell Anderson, Stephen Batura, Jonathan Borofsky, Trine Bumiller, Susan Cooper, Joellyn Duesberry, Michael Gadlin, Cliff Garten, Bill Gian, Shannon Kelly, Andrew Libertone, Patrick Marold, Emanuel Martinez, Frank T. Martinez, William Matthews, Christopher Oar, Tony Ortega, Kelton Osborn, Judith Steward, Sandy Toland and Judith Trager.