Denver International Airport
8500 Peña Boulevard
Denver, CO 80249
Denver International Airport (DIA) has one of the nation’s first fully integrated art installations and one of the most extensive art programs at any airport in the world. The airport has a public art collection with 30 sculptures, murals and installations, and serves as a unique venue to changing art exhibitions featuring a variety of artists.
The airport also features permanent artwork. Along the walkway between the Jeppesen Terminal and Concourse A, the sounds of tribal chanting have echoed through the corridor since the airport first opened. This auditory art piece is part of the permanent collection, as is the indoor garden in the middle of Concourse C.
The fountain at the center of DIA collects a couple hundred dollars worth of coins between cleanings, which helps fund the art exhibit maintenance. In the east and west baggage claim areas, twin gargoyles (named Mike and Amy by the staff) stand in open suitcases.
Leo Tanguma’s mural, The Children of the World Dream of Peace, has been privy to debate because of its war scene depiction. Some think it’s a warning against destroying the environment, and others just think it’s inappropriate.
The propellers in the concourse train tunnels are part of the Kinetic Light Air Curtain installation. Many have wondered if they harness the energy of the wind created by the passing trains, but they don’t. They actually are meant to harness the beauty of reflected light.
And don’t forget the big, blue horse. The “Blue Mustang” is located at the beginning of Pena Boulevard, the access road to Denver International Airport. This 32-foot, metallic blue, fiberglass sculpture has glowing red eyes and an ominous appearance. Many Denverites have petitioned its removal since its 2008 installation, due to the frightening demeanor and evil look of the reared-up mustang. The controversial piece of work was created by award-winning artist Luis Jimenez, who incidentally was killed when a piece of the sculpture fell on him before its completion. Many see this as a tell-tale omen, but for good or worse, the blue horse stands with hooves in the air to greet DIA’s guests.