Public art is now a moving attraction
The new way to see downtown Denver
Colorado’s outdoor lifestyle was combined with Denver’s public art scene in the free Downtown Denver Public Art Bicycle tour, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Denver Public Art. With more than 400 pieces of art in the Denver area, this tour was evolved from the program’s walking art tours in order to cover more of the beautiful masterpieces that Denver has to offer, and therefore give its participants a more fulfilling experience.
The sold-out tour on Sunday, Aug. 26 from 9–11 a.m. began at the City of Cuernavaca Park where cyclists brought their own bicycle, helmet, and other supplies, such as food and water, to safely enjoy the three-mile ride around the city at a leisurely pace.
All cyclists were required to register for this event and turn in a release form before embarking on their journey. In order to get every participant even more involved, the event also hosted a photo challenge using #DenverPublicArt30 (take the time to view these pictures on social media as they can take their viewers on a virtual public art tour without the effort of having to pedal a bicycle). The theme for this particular tour was urban art.
Led by a conversational guide, the cyclists saw art that correlated with the urban theme of the event. One of the most notable pieces of art on the tour was I See What You Mean by Lawrence Argent, which is more commonly known as the “Big Blue Bear.” The 40-foot-tall bear curiously peering into the Colorado Convention Center has become a Denver icon, thus rightfully earning it a well-deserved spot on the bicycle tour.
Another piece of art on the tour was Soundwalk by Jim Green. This piece is often overlooked by those who casually pass by, since it’s not a visual experience at all. As the name implies, Soundwalk uses recorded sounds, specifically of farm animals, people, water, and other noises that would catch people off guard in the city, that project from a recorder located beneath ordinary sidewalk grates. This creates an interesting, nontraditional piece of art located along the side of The Money Museum on 16th Street.
Beyond these artworks, the cyclists covered ground along the South Platte River, Cherry Creek, and city bike trails, which loops them back to the City of Cuernavaca Park.
“The tour encompasses two of my passions: art and cycling,” said Amber Fochi, Assistant Director involved in marketing and communications of Denver Arts and Venues. “I enjoy the conversations with native Denverites or first-time visitors to the city as we bike along the route.”
The whole purpose of this event is to expose and educate people about Denver’s public art program as well as its collection. Denver Arts and Venues delivers on this mission as, “The riders are always surprised to discover new artworks and are amazed on the amount and quality of art in the Denver Public Art collection,” according to Amber Fochi.
Another bicycle tour is happening on Sept. 10 at 10 a.m., featuring the theme of Latino and Hispanic history and heritage. Visit denverpublicart.org for more information.
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