Denver, CO

Explore Denver public art, win big blue bear replicas

David Heitz

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Denver's famous big, blue bear.City and County of Denver

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) If you live in Denver, you probably have noticed the city boasts several public art pieces. More than 400 sculptures, murals and other artwork decorate the city. Coloradans created more than half of the art.

Denver wants people to explore the artwork and reward those who engage with the most pieces. Participants can find all the art pieces on DenverPublicArt.org, an interactive site.

"DenverPublicArt.org was built with user participation in mind," explained Michael Chavez, Denver Public Art program manager, in a news release. "The website offers location-based maps, so you can find public art near you, or you can search the collection by neighborhood, artist, title or art type. You can even create a custom profile to build and share personal galleries of your favorite Denver Public Art pieces."

Some of the best-known pieces in the collection are "Blucifer" or "Blue Mustang," the horse with glowing eyes at Denver International Airport; the big blue bear peering into the Colorado Convention Center, titled "I See What You Mean," and the giant chair with the horse standing on it outside the Central Library.

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"The Yearling" sits atop a massive chair outside the Denver Central Library.City and County of Denver

One winner, two runners-up chosen

Contestants earn points on the website by creating a profile, saving favorite artwork, checking in at artwork, sharing artwork and more. Points will be tallied on the DenverPublicArt.org website for May before choosing one winner and two runners-up.

At the end of the month, the website user with the most points will win two eight-inch replicas of "I See What You Mean" and a copy of "Beyond Blue: Denver's Public Art Collection," a 171-page print guide to the Denver Public Art collection.

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Affectionately known as "Blucifer," this blue mustang watches over Denver International Airport.City and County of Denver

The winner also will get a private tour for two at Demiurge Design, a Denver-based sculptural and architectural design and fabrication firm, and a meet the Demiurge team. Two runners-up will each receive a replica of "I See What You Mean."

City invests $40 million in public art

Demiurge created many of Denver's most iconic sculptures, including "Sun Spot" at Denver Municipal Animal Shelter, "Albedo" at Denver Botanic Gardens, "Mine Craft" at McNichols Civic Center Building and "Iridescent Cloud" at Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

The city has invested $40 million in public art since 1988. Artists have used many mediums. "Public Art is certainly not limited to the more traditional art forms," according to DenverPublicArt.org. "Denver's Public Art program has pieces in its collection that include sound art, projection and light-based works, interactive new media pieces, temporary fiber-based works, and even performance-based works."

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best local newspapers in the country. Today, I report on Denver City Hall, homelessness and other topics for NewsBreak, much like I did in my twenties covering Newport Beach, Calif. for the Daily Pilot. I consider myself a lucky guy to still be doing what I love after so many years.

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