Client: Denver Art Museum
Location: Denver, CO, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $15,000
Blue Spruce Design & Construction
LP’s Custom Building and Framing
“Summer is!” is a structure of story. It recalls a summer campfire; a place where we reconnect with what it means to be human, a primal place that resonates within each of us. Our piece invites people to sit and tell stories, to interact with the physical form and create a lyrical form. Tags are also available for visitors to write their stories on and tie onto the installation, creating a canopy of summer experiences.
We wanted to create urban “camp fires” to give summer visitors to the Denver Art Museum an opportunity to pull up a tree stump and tell a story with friends. The challenge for collaborators, WORKSHOP8 and Blue Spruce Design & Construction of Boulder, was to create a temporary art installation for the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art using sustainable materials. We knew we wanted the project to fill the plaza in front of the Denver Art Museum as much as possible. We knew we wanted our materials to be reclaimed, recycled, or compostable. We knew we wanted to keep as much as possible out of the landfill.
This was a true collaborative project borne out of several conversations, lots of exploration, and a dedication to making it sustainable. WORKSHOP8 partnered with Blue Spruce Design & Construction to design and construct the Denver Art Museum’s summer installation. With the guidance of Blue Spruce, WORKSHOP8 designed an installation that is simple to build, does not require maintenance, and is easy to deconstruct. The sun rays exhibited in the installation utilize retired climbing rope from climbing gyms in the Denver/Boulder area. WORKSHOP8 reclaimed the rope to give it new life and a new purpose in the Denver Art Museum Summer Installation. All campsite platforms and seats were expertly crafted from reclaimed lumber by LP’s Custom Building and Framing, and the wood for the project was donated Wood Source in Thornton.
“SUMMER IS. . . “ invites visitors to tell a story around a summer campfire, a place where stories are spoken and stories are heard. The installation invited people to write a phrase, a word, or draw an image on a hang tag and tie it onto a ray. Over the summer, the rays emanating from the light posts became more and more solid with ever more layers of story. "SUMMER IS. . ." encompasses what summer feels like, sounds like, tastes like, and looks like.