Exhibits going in to SkyHouse windows
Downtown Denver’s 25-story SkyHouse building may have opened last fall, but its first-floor window boxes have remained empty for most of that time.
Now, thanks to a partnership between SkyHouse and the Denver Art Museum, those windows are serving as off-site exhibits for museum-approved local artists.
After a request-for-proposal process, the art museum, in consultation with RedLine, selected four Denver-based artists to fill the empty ground-floor spaces: Sandra Fettingis, Collin Parson, Jodi Stuart and Suchitra Mattai.
The installations offer something far better to look at than shadowy drywall or for-lease signs.
Parson’s “ellipse installation,” for example, uses color-changing LEDs and minimalistic geometric shapes and mirrors to create “perceptual effects by reflecting the surrounding environment and light,” according to a press statement.
Fettingis’s concept, dubbed “Gem City,” was inspired by the Denver cityscape situated against a warm, colorful Colorado sunset. Her installation “offers dimension and shadow play for foot traffic along Lincoln,” the press statement said.
Fettingis and Parson’s installations were mounted in June and will be on view through October. Stuart and Mattai will take over the space in December 2017 and occupy it for six months.
“We want to thank SkyHouse Denver for this opportunity to expand our programming outside the museum walls and to give Denver creatives an exclusive space where their artworks will be seen and enjoyed by hundreds of people every day,” said Christoph Heinrich, director at the Denver Art Museum, in the press statement.
The SkyHouse building’s footprint lands on some of the most visible, heavily trafficked stretches of central downtown, from its eastern edge on Lincoln Street (between 17th and 18th avenues) to its downtown-facing sides (along 18th Avenue and North Broadway, across from the Brown Palace Hotel).
As of late September, about 7,000 square feet of street-level retail space was in “lease-up,” a spokeswoman said at the time.
Stapleton-based SuperFruit Republic was slated to open its second location in one of the spaces along Broadway, across from the Brown Palace, with the other two storefronts expected to be leased by Jan. 1.
A spokesman for Novare Group, a development partner on the project, told The Denver Post on Friday that the plan for the window boxes — which are separate from the retail spaces — was always to activate the street front at the building’s parking deck, since “it was never intended as retail space.”
“We want to thank SkyHouse Denver for this opportunity to expand our programming outside the museum walls and to give Denver creatives an exclusive space where their artworks will be seen and enjoyed by hundreds of people every day.”
Christoph Heinrich, director at the Denver Art Museum
Collin Parson’s art installation along 18th Avenue in the SkyHouse building features color-changing LED lights and minimalistic geometric shapes.