By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – A new permanent art installation is ready to light up Downtown Denver. “Night Lights Denver” will debut Thursday with shows from local and international artists splashed on the 10 stories of the Daniels & Fisher Tower along the 16th Street Mall.

Night Lights Denver will light up the historic D&F Tower downtown.

Night Lights Denver will light up the D&F Tower downtown starting Thursday night. (credit: CBS)

“Dealing with something that size is a totally new scale for me so I had to really keep thinking ‘How is this going to look multiple stories tall vs. on my little laptop?’” said Denver artist Joel Swanson, who programmed about a dozen choreographies to span the historic clock tower.

Swanson is among three artists in the inaugural show of what’s being dubbed the “People’s Projector.” His art frequently blends language and technology. For Night Lights Denver, he decided to use non-alphanumeric symbols like asterisks and question marks to animate in a meaningful way all over the east face of the building.

Denver artist Joel Swanson helped program the Night Lights Denver art displays.

Denver artist Joel Swanson helped program the Night Lights Denver art displays. (credit: CBS)

“It hit a really sweet spot between being subtle, it’s all black and white which resonates with my practice but I think it’s also visually appealing enough where people walking down the street would be interested to stop and see more,” Swanson said.

“You can feel the energy! We’re already watching people walk by and pause and stop. It also causes people to spontaneously interact with people on the street and that’s what cities are all about,” said Tami Door, the CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, which helped launch the art display through the Denver Theatre District.

The shows last about 15 minutes. They start 30 minutes after sunset and will run for up to three hours.

Initially the display will only be on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Shows are expected to change monthly.

“It’s so great to bring art to this building, just brings it to life,” said Door. “It never goes away, it’s going to evolve, it’s going to change it’s going to be dynamic but it’s here to stay.

Jeff Todd

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