If you take a drive around Denver and keep your eyes peeled, you are sure to see tons of great sculptures and public art right on the street. Public art such as this is the best (and free) way to experience some of the amazing art that makes Denver unique. Some pieces you have probably seen hundreds of times, while others are hidden gems. Just do not miss your chance to stop and see these amazing works of art.
Outside the Denver Art Museum
100 W 14th Ave. Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
Sitting just outside the Denver Art Museum are several impressive sculptures, but perhaps the most fun is the giant broom and dustpan, entitled “Big Sweep.” Installed in June of 2006, this 30-foot-tall piece was the work of world famous artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. According to the artists, “Riding a free city bus, we glimpsed sanitation workers demonstratively sweeping trash into dustpans as part of a campaign to keep Denver clean. As we talked over lunch, the clear blue sky combined with the characteristic browns of the Denver cityscape to elicit the image of a colossal broom and dustpan, which had appeared in a drawing in that color scheme.”
Bordered by Leetsdale Blvd, Colorado Blvd. and Alameda Avenue
There is an odd little triangular park at the intersections of Leetsdale Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard and Alameda Avenue and it is called Burns Park. Burns Park features several public sculptures from artists Angelo Di Benedetto, Roger Kotoske and Barbara Baer. Founded in 1968, Burns Park often features temporary installations as well. There is a small parking lot to the south side of the park, so feel free to park and take some photos.
On North Speer Blvd. between Champa St. and Arapahoe St.
If you have ever driven down Speer Boulevard, you are sure to have noticed the giant sculptures outside the Denver Performing Arts Complex. This 60-foot tall sculpture is by Jonathan Borofsky and it is titled Dancers, though many in Denver refer to it as the ‘Dancing Aliens.’ The sculpture is often a point of discussion for many, as people either love it or hate it. However, it is still something special for Denver, due to the fact that Borofsky is an internationally renowned artist with huge installations in Beijing, Seoul, Berlin, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas and Baltimore.
Related: Top Art Studios in the Denver Area
Art in Public Places
Throughout the city of Aurora
Click here for a detailed guide
The city of Aurora has a unique program designed to feature unique art throughout the city. Titled Art in Public Places, there are more than 30 different pieces located throughout the city of Aurora. The program was launched to maintain and build a quality public art collection featuring diverse media and styles. The Art in Public Places program offers a detailed guide that has the location and details of every piece featured.
Related: A Guide to Denver Museums
Bordered by Colorado Blvd, 17th Street, York Street, and 23rd Avenue
City Park is one of the largest parks in Denver at 330 acres, however it is also home to a unique collection of truly impressive statues. Wander through the park to find several monuments and statutes. The oldest of the monuments are a bronze memorial to Robert Burns, dated 1909, and a marble sculpture fountain from 1912. The easiest way to find all of the statues is to enter through the Dennis Sullivan Gateway located at Colfax Avenue and Elizabeth Street. From there the pieces are all within a fairly short walk.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.