Strange Continents was commissioned by the City of Denver as part of its Hotel and Transit Center project at Denver International Airport, which included a new light rail line from downtown Denver, and the construction of a new hotel. The piece spans 1875 square feet of interior wall space within a long corridor that connects the transit center and the main lobby of the hotel.
Managed by Westin Hotels, this piece needed to meet the design goals of the hotel group, which included abstraction, pattern, and reference to nature. The imagery for Strange Continents is derived from hundreds of photographs of the Platte River at Confluence Park in Denver, where it flows over a series of man-made boulders, creating a waterfall that cascades through the park. The dichotomies of natural and urban, local and global are central to the piece, and reflect a broader interest in the relationship between growing cities and their natural environments.
The fabrication of the piece involved collaboration with Demiurge, a Denver-based art fabrication studio that cut and installed the dimensional aspects of the work. Demiurge worked to procure the dimensional materials, 3-Form cast resin, cut the material to my specifications and install based on the overall design.
Strange Continents was installed onsite over the course of two months, during which I hand-painted the piece directly on the wall. Working with a team of three assistants, we transferred the overall design to the wall from drawings made in my studio, and then painted the piece using artists brushes and latex paint.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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