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New public art installed at the Webb building, should project Sunlight in late December

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Finally, there's positive, artistic proof of construction happening in Denver -- and not just those obnoxious lane closures downtown. On Saturday, a projector was installed on the fourth floor of the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building, facing the city's newly renovated Minoru Yasui Building. An art piece called "Sunlight," designed by Brooklyn-based artist Adam Frank, will project images of the sun as it rises when the real sun sets -- which is at an obnoxious 4:30 p.m. or so these almost-winter days. Then the images will lead viewers through the sun's routine of rising, shining brightly during the middle of the night and eventually setting when the actual sun rises.

"It'll have that sense of progression," says public-art administrator Rudi Cerri. "It looks pretty real."

The images, which come from scientific photos, will change from day to day. And drivers don't need to worry: They won't be as bright as the real sun coming through a windshield.

The art installation has been in the works for three years, ever since the $10 million renovation of the Minoru Yasui Building began -- and under Denver rules, $100,000, or 1 percent of the budget, was set aside for public art. More than 200 artists applied for the commission.

As part of the project, solar panels have also been installed at the top of the Webb building. While these won't go directly to powering the projector -- that would require costly batteries, since the projector only runs when the real sun is not in the sky -- they will contribute more electricity to Denver's grid than the projector is expected to require, according to Cerri.

The projector should be operational in late December, and "Sunlight" will show daily for approximately the first month, says Cerri. After that, however, the city might scale back the showings.

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