Denver Art Museum Transforms Outdoor Plaza with Interactive Installation That Invites Visitors to Share Summer Memories

(Denver, Colo.) – May 15, 2014 – The Denver Art Museum (DAM) has commissioned WORKSHOP8 and Blue Spruce Design & Construction to transform its outdoor plaza with a participatory and site-specific installation that will activate the museum’s entrance from May 31 through mid-September 2014. Bringing visitors together for a shared experience, the design teams will create a series of urban campfires on Martin Plaza, which encourages guests to pull up a tree stump, relax on the plaza and exchange stories of summer with friends and family.

“We are excited to once again tap the creative community to craft a space by and for our visitors,” said Jaime Kopke, manager of adult and college programs at the DAM. “This partnership continues the museum’s tradition and commitment to engaging our community to ignite creativity in all of our guests.”

In November 2013, the DAM put out a call for proposals for an interactive installation on Martin Plaza. The museum selected the proposal by Boulder-based WORKSHOP8 and Blue Spruce because of its unique approach towards visitor engagement, plaza activation and utilization of reclaimed and recycled goods.

Project Overview: Summer is…From the breathtaking mountains to the lakes, there are many reasons to love summer in Colorado. The team realized many fond memories and friendships are formed around campfires through the act of telling stories. To evoke this same welcoming, familiar atmosphere, the design team will create four campfire platforms with eight seats, each crafted from reclaimed beetle-kill pine donated by Wood Source in Thornton. Each campfire platform will have rays made out of recycled climbing rope that extend beyond the wood and connect to light poles on the plaza. Throughout the summer, participants can write or draw what summer means to them on colorful tags and attach it to the rope rays. The installation will blossom throughout the summer as more people participate, adding their favorite representation of the season.

Installation Weekend

The public is invited to meet the designers and create their own summer stories tag on May 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum will also host a bronze pour on the plaza from noon to 3 p.m. that Saturday. No reservations are necessary.

WORKSHOP8 and Blue Spruce Background

Formed in March 2010, WORKSHOP8 is a collaborative architecture, planning and design studio based in Boulder, Colorado. WORKSHOP8’s experienced team is dedicated to providing architecture and design services that are beautiful, sustainable and energy-efficient. Blue Spruce Design and Construction was founded in 1997 by Sandra Weeks. Blue Spruce is a woman-owned general contracting company specializing in commercial tenant finish, restaurants and residential renovations with an emphasis on green building and sustainability.

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Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Denver metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit