The Official Blog / Diary / Journal of the Denver Art Museum's Artist-In-Residence Program

From WCoR: 2 projects that won’t happen and 1 that still might!

The creative process is often a series of obstacles that you have to figure out how to navigate. However, sometimes you just give up and take a different path.

One of the first ideas was to make the hub a glittering golden bright reflective space; the shiniest sparkly thing you’ve ever laid eyes on and then when you walked in you were surrounded by boring and inconsequential activities.

I knew I wanted to create something around civic action and voting every day---the museum is a great example of putting public funds to use for citizens’ priorities. Museums and parks are as necessary to city life as streets and hospitals. However, we typically associate civic action with merely voting. It acts as an opiate: it deadens the pain and makes us feel a bit better. What else can we or should we do as citizens? Are there, in fact, less shiny and celebrated actions we can take to voice what we want? Would you want to engage in the boring and mundane? Something about this juxtaposition fascinates and enrages me!

But alas, the cost to cover all the ceiling tiles and floor and walls with bright sparkly gold (and return it to its regular white) would have taken most of our budget. So, on to the next version!

The second idea that fizzled was to draw all along the walls of the Hamilton building, much like Harold and the Purple Crayon. Visitors would walk along and see this line going all around the building, with all the meanders of a river or a child’s imagination. Who would do this?! Who owns this building? Why would you draw a line all around it? Additionally, we’d put up giant Post-It notes with messages of things that seem like afterthoughts in the construction of a civic building like the museum. It quickly became evident that this idea was also in the “going overboard” column.

The idea I’d still like to take on at some point during these months is to label the roof above Palettes restaurant. Just on the north side of the bridge between the Hamilton and North buildings, there is a window that is a perfect example of what a city offers and how much of it is public: You see the library, the chair with the horse on it public sculpture, the capital, civic center park, busy streets, people sitting and walking, the central business district with its tall buildings.

The composition of the scene outside the window is beautiful on the top half, but the bottom half is a roof. Roofs are normally plain. There isn’t much aesthetic value placed on a roof as we normally don’t see them. Their value is in their function. However, the museum is a place where aesthetics take priority and this seems like a perfect opportunity for some creative seed-planting of sorts. What if we labeled all these aspects of city life? Big red arrows spread along the roof as a reminder of our collective ownership of our city. Stay tuned...