Art has the ability to stand on its own with little need for description or explanation. It can have a profound impact on the viewer, who interacts with the artwork in the context of his or her own experiences. But while art has this ability, how much more powerful is it when you understand the story behind the piece?
The opportunities for the public to engage with art through the Terra Firma series continue this month with the launch of Understudy, Denver’s first-of-its-kind experimental arts and culture incubator. Housed in a formerly unrentable, 700-square-foot space in the Colorado Convention Center, Understudy serves as a way to experiment both operationally and artistically to determine the best way to provide artists, creative groups and the community with a free and central space for art installations.
As the color of Konstantin Dimopoulos’ Blue Trees in the Denver Theatre District began to fade, our dots were hard at work planning the next phase of the Terra Firma series. In October, New York-based artist Shantell Martin arrived in Denver to create her largest installation to date and leave her mark on our city. The sidewalks in the District became the perfect canvas for Martin’s signature meditation of black and white lines.
Chicago’s ‘Cloud Gate’ (aka ‘the bean’). New York’s ‘Charging Bull’ and ‘Fearless Girl’. Denver International Airport’s terrifying or awe-inspiring (depending on who you ask) ‘Mustang’. Creating memorable spaces and connecting people to the built environment extends far beyond brick and mortar.
Here at NINE dot Arts, we love that public art has the power to become part of the identity of a city. It can be an emblem, mascot, lightning rod or beloved landmark – or a combination of things for different people. Most of all, public art creates an experience that is unique to a place. So when the Denver Theatre District reached out to us to help enliven a 16-block area of Downtown Denver through interactive, immersive and experimental arts and cultural events, we jumped at the chance to contribute.