Public art in Stapleton

What does it mean? How much did it cost? And, who determines the pieces?


There are 16 public art pieces in and around the Stapleton Neighborhood. Forest City's wanted to give meaning and enjoyment to public space by creating a sense of place with art. Ever wonder what the artists intentions were and how much they cost?

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Artist: Sean O'Meallie

Cost: $85,000.

Meaning: This 12-foot high white sculpture is poised atop a 20-foot pillar and oriented toward the Central Park Station, as if he was running to catch the train.


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Artist: Artscapes

Cost: $100,000.

Meaning: This installation is the heart of the 29th Ave. pedestrian and retail district. The granite and sandstone elements of the fountain environment tell the journey of water in Colorado's arid climate.

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Artist: Ilan Averbuch

Cost: $150,000.

Meaning: The large empty space within the sculpture allows the viewer to observe changes in the immediate environment as he or she moves along the sculpture.

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Artist: Thomas H. Sayre

Cost: $155,000.

Meaning: These vessels demonstrate the balance between human interaction and nature. The 5 nodes features a different grouping of vessels in arrangements that relate to human movement and movement of the sun.

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Artist: Erick Johnson

Cost: $150,000.

Meaning: This piece depicts wind currents that swirl down from the continental divide. The tall, abstract prairie grasses are also emblematic of how the plains move in the wind. 

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Artists: David Franklin - Indianola, WA, Aaron Whelton - Portland, OR

Cost: $175,000.

Meaning: The public art installation one sees peeking out of the ceiling of the underpass beneath north Central Park Boulevard features a series of 258 yellow painted metal profiles  suspended throughout the 128’ concrete tunnel.  These dramatic shapes echo the sand dunes that covered this area long before it became the lively urban landscape it is today.  The artist’s intent is to create a sense of wonder and surprise for the pedestrians and cyclists using the tunnel. 



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Artists: Jim Green assisted by Ryan Elmendorf

Cost: $100,000.

Meaning: Sound art is designed to humanize public space by playfully introducing unexpected sounds into the environment.  Talking Parking Meters is an interactive audio artwork located at the Eastbridge Town Center Plaza. This public art installation consists of three parking meters that play recorded audio clips.  A motion sensor activates the sounds when a person approaches the meters. One meter plays spoken greetings, another nature sounds, and the third transportation sounds.  


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Artist: Patrick Marold - Denver, CO

Cost: $100,000.

Meaning: This piece’s three, kinetic “airfoils” are fashioned from salvaged, 737 tail stabilizers that speak to Stapleton’s past as well as the community’s mission of sustainability. The 16-foot sculptures also reflect the sky and their surroundings. A fourth “airfoil” is installed in front of the Denver School of Science and Technology.

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Artists: Andy Dufford (Denver, CO)  

Meaning: The Central Park Boulevard Bridge serves as one gateway to the neighborhood. These embellishments on the Bridge take their inspiration from geode formations. Carved from limestone, each form is split in half and then split again to create surfaces that reveal the play of light and shadow throughout the day and at night. People walking or biking around the bridge can experience these geodes shapes. The shapes can also be appreciated by people driving by.


This project was funded, in part, by an allocation of $450,000 in public art funds provided by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority. 

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Architect: Doug Lamson

Cost: $450,000 This project was funded, in public art funds provided by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.

Meaning: MLK Blvd. serves as the primary east/west arterial roadway at Stapleton. This art piece’s 50-foot-high, steel towers grace the parallel spans of this bridge over Westerly Creek and also mark a major point of crossing a greenway system. This greenway is signified by the towers and overlook below the towers.

This project was funded, in public art funds provided by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.

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Artist: David Griggs (Denver, CO)

Cost: Funded by the City and County of Denver Public Art Program

Location: Havana Street adjacent to the Denver County Jail.


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Architect: Christopher Oar - Denver, CO

CostFunded by the City and County of Denver Public Art Program

Location: Havana Street, adjacent to Denver County Jail


Artist: Lars Stanley - Austin, TX

Cost: $75,000

Meaning: This artwork features a forged, steel-entry gate and a series of slim, graceful, wrought-steel poles with abstracted garden images at the top. Fruits, vegetables in various stages of development and images of common garden tools remind viewers of the purpose of a community garden. The story poles tell of movement and change, celebrating both the endless inventiveness of nature in a plant’s cycle from seed to fruit and the human work and ingenuity involved in cultivating that transformation. Story poles define the garden space and welcome viewers and gardeners throughout the community.

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Architect: Gerald Heffernon - Winters, CA

Cost: $110,000

Location:  East 35th Ave and Xenis St).

Meaning: This sculpture tableau is based on classic, 18th century, European paintings about picnic themes. Instead of humans, it features four, elegant, bronze dogs lounging on a large, flat boulder as they enjoy a relaxed picnic. This combination of factors give the sculpture a pastoral, yet amusing, personality which will appeal to children and adults in this intimate neighborhood park.


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Artists: Marek Walczak -NY, Wesley Heiss - PA

Cost: $250,000

Location: Central Park Rec Center.

Meaning: In the Central Park Recreation Center you will find the Thought Balloons - large, black-glass frame placed on the north wall of the long, entry hallway. The artwork playfully inserts software-generated, textbased dialogue over the heads of people seated on the frame. The text will be updated, and you can add suggestions at!


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Architect: Steven Appleton (Los Angeles, CA) - Winters, CA

Cost:  This artwork is part of the public art collection of the City and County of Denver. It’s also on display in the Sam Gary Branch Library and managed by Arts and Venues Denver.

Meaning:  From sunrise to sunset, the daylight harvesting robot on the library rooftop tracks the changing path of the sun across the sky. The harvester captures a slice of strong sunlight. Mirrors then bounce concentrated light down a tube, where the LaminaLight sculpture softens the light with its cloud-like forms. Sculptural lamps also interact with the changing light levels.

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Artists: Retired Firefighter Joe Cipri (Westminster, CO) 

Cost: $250,000

Location: Fire Station # 26 In Stapleton

Meaning: This artwork is a two-subject, bronze sculpture of a life-size firefighter proudly standing with one of the Fire Department’s trusted comrades, Chief, the firehouse dog. Since the early ‘60s, this loving canine has been a legend at the Denver Fire Department. As an honorary firefighter, Chief gave unconditional love and support to all who worked with him. When a long ring came in, Chief was the first to the rig. While working at a fire, he earned his keep by barking from the pumper-truck and keeping onlookers at bay. Chief eventually passed away and was the last Dalmatian to officially ride with the Denver Fire Department.

Who determines what public art is chosen for Stapleton?

The developer Forest City has a long-term commitment to public art & the community. As the community grows, the collection grows, and so does the experience. The Public Art Master Plan was adopted in early 2005. Community representatives carefully select the art. The committee evaluates art proposals based on criteria such as artistic excellence, suitability for the site, accessibility and sustainability. (Qualities of Stapleton itself.) There is a Public Art Advisory Committee that continues to explore new artwork for placement in carefully chosen locations throughout Stapleton – to inspire thought and conversation.

For more information, please contact Barbara Neal, Public ArtConsultant for Stapleton.