Ex­hibits go­ing in to SkyHouse win­dows

The Denver Post - - LIFE&CULTURE - By John Wen­zel

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

Photo by Wes Mag­yar, pro­vided by Den­ver Art Mu­seum

Collin Par­son’s art in­stal­la­tion along 18th Av­enue in the SkyHouse build­ing fea­tures color-chang­ing LED lights and min­i­mal­is­tic geo­met­ric shapes.

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