June 15, 2018 – May 15, 2019
Black Cube Curatorial Project
This project is funded and produced by the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, with curation by Black Cube.
Art has the power to change the way we see and interact with the world. By reimagining alleyways as artworks, Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project aspires to soften public space and encourage city dwellers to observe the overlooked parts of our urban environment. The artists include Carlos Frésquez, Kelly Monico, Stuart Semple, Joel Swanson, and Frankie Toan.
Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project—funded and produced by the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District—is aimed at bringing additional public art to Downtown Denver. The goal is to surprise, delight, and inspire those who experience the alleyways.
Carlos Frésquez, Alley Freshener
Through a humorous lens, Frésquez’s large-scale, suspended sculpture questions society’s contradictory viewpoint of cleanliness in personal versus public space. By placing enlarged air fresheners in an urban environment, this artwork suggests the importance of cultivating neglected civic space.
Kelly Monico, Alley Cats
Alley Cats is a playful commentary on humans’ fascination with felines throughout history, from Ancient Egypt to the Internet Age. Composed of three hundred cat figurines, Monico’s artwork exemplifies the human-animal bond and its connection to well-being.
Stuart Semple, I should be crying but I just can’t let it show
Squished between two buildings, Semple’s large-scale, yellow smiley face acts as a metaphor for humans' ability to persevere under pressure. By utilizing a universal symbol for “happiness,” this artwork is at once optimistic and playful.
Joel Swanson, Y/OURS
In Swanson’s neon installation, “Y” in “YOURS” blinks on and off alternating between the embedded words “YOURS” and “OURS.” This artwork questions how public space is defined through notions of personal property and ownership.
Frankie Toan, Public Body
Toan’s artwork speaks to the significance of human interaction with public space. Through a series of vibrant, body-like forms, this installation encourages viewers to reenvision the alley’s traditional function into a place for public gathering.
Special thanks to: Downtown Denver Partnership, Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, and the Denver Theatre District.
Photo credit: Third Dune Productions