Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building, 4th Floor Elevator Lobby
Central Business District
About This Piece
Until 2003, Denver’s various City departments were spread around the City at various locations. This meant doing business with the City was a multi-stop experience. The consolidation of Denver’s agencies into a one-stop location has not only saved the City money, it has created a place where we can base an understanding of how the City works.
With this in mind, the City selected a location for Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building adjacent to Civic Center Park. The addition of the Webb building to the Civic Center landscape brought together all the agencies that work to build the city and to administer the ordinances that define city life.
The Public Art Program for the Webb Building was based on this set of understandings.
Twelve artists were hired to each do an artwork for one of the floor’s elevator landings. Each artist was asked to create a unique work that represented an important element of Denver and its place on this landscape.
From the bottom to the top the artists are:
First Floor: Darrell Anderson, “Workers”
Second Floor: Sue Quinlan, "Antiquities and Revisited”
Third Floor: Bonnie Lhotka, “Whole Life”
Fourth Floor: Steve Altman, “Civic Centerized”
Fifth Floor: Darrell Anderson, “Construction”
Sixth Floor: Bill Starke, “Ascent”
Seventh Floor: Scott Greenig, “South Gateway”
Eighth Floor: Nathaniel Bustion, “Inter Spirit of the Created Colorado Vision”
Ninth Floor: Oyedele Oginga, “The Ensemble”
Tenth Floor: Jim Colbert, “Civic Center Floating Island”
Eleventh Floor: Daniel Salazar, “Grand Poobah & Office Fairy cut through red tape”
Twelfth Floor: Judith Trager, “Canyon Walls”
For this artwork, the artist took a very public place (Civic Center Park) and painted it as a landscape in a nontraditional format. His concept centers on perspective. By changing the perspective of something very familiar to us, it can become unfamiliar. In other words, because of the change in perspective, you notice things that otherwise tend to go unnoticed, such as the way light areas are transformed into dark areas and how these areas create intriguing shapes.
Aerial photographs of Civic Center Park were used, so that the finished project is both a realistic and abstract painting. Because an aerial view has the tendency to eliminate different planes such as foreground and background, and because the perspective from above is so unfamiliar, we are easily deceived and tend to see this as complete abstraction. This event invites the viewer to decide between the two genres as they explore.