In October 2017, internationally renowned artist Shantell Martin created a giant black-and-white, stream of consciousness drawing on the sidewalks of the Denver Theatre District that covers an area on 14th Street from Stout to Champa including the entire outdoor plaza of the Colorado Convention Center. Part of the Terra Firma series curated by NINE dot ARTS to enliven a 16-block area of downtown Denver through interactive, immersive and experimental art and culture events, the installation will remain on view for two to three years. In addition to the ground drawing, Martin designed a sculptural bench that says “DON’T HIDE + YOU ME” installed near the Light Rail stop at 14th and Stout. Martin’s iconic style and inventive visual language of characters, figures and phrases immerse pedestrians in a complex yet meandering world of exploration, introspection, and conversation. The installation serves not only as Martin’s largest and most public-facing installation to date but also the first on the ground. Created over a four-day period, Martin’s work bridged performance art as she scooted across the sidewalk at times on a skateboard while drawing with spray paint. As the second installation of the Terra Firma initiative, Martin’s installation solidifies the Denver Theatre District’s position as one of the most innovative arts districts in the region.
“Shantell’s fluid approach is a perfect fit. Her large-scale signature drawing engages the community and is an integral part of how people experience the Denver Theatre District.” David Ehrlich, Executive Director, Denver Theatre District