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HAPPY CITY DENVER

ART FOR THE PEOPLE MAY 18 – JUNE 30, 2018


Happy City: Art for the People is a six-week, citywide art intervention with the purpose of breaking down personal, emotional and social barriers, while nurturing individual and collective well-being.


The project brings together more than 10 artists’ perspectives to address ideas of happiness and community wellness, in order to imagine a more connected society. The installation sites are located throughout Denver, and include streets, alleyways, billboards, video screens, and Union Station, among others. The project is initiated by British artist Stuart Semple and pays homage to Canadian author Charles Montgomery’s influential publication “Happy City.” Montgomery’s book questions the intersection between urban design and the science of happiness. In response, Happy City: Art for the People provides unexpected art experiences in public spaces with the hope of inciting curiosity and encouraging togetherness. Overall, the project invokes the question – can a city be happy?

Happy City: Art for the People is produced by The Denver Theatre District with artistic direction by Black Cube and is a result of collaboration among a number of funding partners, including Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Community First Foundation, Denver Arts & Venues, Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, Downtown Denver Partnership, McWHINNEY, P.S. You Are Here, Sage Hospitality, and VISIT DENVER. In addition to the art installations and artist contributions, Happy City offers extensive programming to engage the community. On view May 18 through June 30, 2018


“Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, or positive wellbeing, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” Sonja Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness


ARTWORKS

Happy City’s art experiences strive to engage diverse, local audiences by presenting art in public spaces – spaces that explore fresh terrain, ranging from transportation hubs to alley ways, and beyond. Together, these artworks aim to investigate and reflect on breaking down social barriers, softening public space, and encouraging collective experiences.


ARTISTS

Theresa Anderson (CO), Matt Barton (CO), Milton Melvin Croissant III (NY), Carlos Frésquez (CO), Vince McKelvie (CA), Kelly Monico (CO), Zach Reini (CO), John Roemer (CO), Stuart Semple (UK), Joel Swanson (CO), and Frankie Toan (CO).


Emotional Baggage Drop (Hello Stranger) ARTIST:

Stuart Semple

DATES:

May 18 – June 10, 2018

TIMES:

Wednesdays – Fridays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

LOCATION:

Denver’s Union Station, Great Hall 1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202

Emotional Baggage Drop (hello stranger) is an audience-led art installation by British artist Stuart Semple that mimics a luggage drop. The artwork explores ways to alleviate anxiety and feelings of isolation through the social benefits of trusting strangers. Free, 18+, and open to the public

Denver’s Union Station (Great Hall) Image courtesy of James Ray Spahn


Happy Clouds ARTIST:

Stuart Semple

DATES:

15 Launches from May 18 – June 30, 2018

TIMES:

See happycitydenver.com for details.

LOCATIONS:

Denver Public Library Branches, Mental Health Center of Denver, Colorado Convention Center, Denver Art Museum, Civic Center Park, among others.

British artist Stuart Semple’s iconic Happy Clouds are composed of smiley-face bubble sculptures, that when released with helium, drift amid public space. These fleeting, environmentally-friendly clouds float outdoors, interrupting daily life and reminding all to be mindful of the present. Happy Clouds is funded in part by P.S. You Are Here. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

Stuart Semple, HappyCloud, 2009 (Milan, Italy) Image courtesy of Stuart Semple Studios


Baker-Miller-Pink (Billboard) ARTIST:

John Roemer

DATES:

May 2018 – May 2019

LOCATION:

1345 Champa Street, Denver, CO 80204

Baker-Miller-Pink is a public installation featuring a triptych billboard outside of the Buell Theatre by Denver-based artist John Roemer. Exploring the research behind the psychological effects of the color Baker-Miller pink, this monochromatic work seeks to positively influence public space.

John Roemer, Baker-Miller Pink, 2014–ongoing (detail) Image courtesy of the artist


Animated Screens DATES:

May 18 – June 30, 2018

ARTIST:

Theresa Anderson

TITLE:

Sending you Sunshine

LOCATION:

16th Street Mall & Champa Street

Theresa Anderson’s hand-drawn animation titled Sending you Sunshine features abstractions that reference the ever-evolving nature of human emotion. The drawings illustrate the practice of sketching and journaling as modes of self-reflection. This work, which was produced specifically for Happy City, is the most abstract artwork in the exhibition and will subvert the traditional commercial use of this high traffic digital billboard, which can be seen off of the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver.

Theresa Anderson, the most beautiful dream, 2017 (video still) Image courtesy of the artist


Animated Screens DATES:

May 18 – June 30, 2018

ARTIST:

Milton Melvin Croissant III

TITLE:

Short Circuit 3

LOCATION:

14th Street & Arapahoe Street

Milton Melvin Croissant III’s video looks at the intersection of technology and mental health in today’s digital age. By presenting the image of a human head literally “plugged” in like a device, this work highlights society’s perhaps unhealthy relationship with technology. Croissant selected the only square-shaped digital billboard, as it is a unique format for him to explore artistically.

Milton Melvin Croissant III, Short Circuit 3, 2018 (video still) Image courtesy of the artist


Animated Screens DATES:

May 18 – June 30, 2018

ARTIST:

Vince McKelvie

TITLE:

Gull

LOCATION:

14th Street & Champa Street

In Vince McKelvie’s animation Gull, viewers see the image of a balloonlike head floating atop a body of water, surrounded by debris. The work speaks to our impact on the environment, and suggests nurturing our natural habitats contribute to a healthier world. Gull’s enigmatic presence will provide a brief respite from the regularly presented commercials featured on this digital billboard.

Vince McKelvie, Gull, 2018 (video still) Image courtesy of the artist


Animated Screens DATES:

May 18 – June 30, 2018

ARTIST:

Zach Reini

TITLE:

Stop the Heartache

LOCATION:

14th Street & Champa Street

In this animation, Reini appropriates a photograph of a road sign that reads “Stop the heartache.” Ordinarily, these highway digital billboards warn drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving. By removing the context, the phrase is interpreted as an open-ended heartfelt plea meant for personal contemplation. The artist also sees utopian aspirations in this statement – the impossibility of stopping all of the heartache in the world as he sees heartache as an unavoidable aspect of modern life.

Zach Reini, Stop the Heartache, 2018 (video still) Image courtesy of the artist


Soft Something ARTIST:

Matt Barton

DATES:

June 8 – June 29, 2018

TIME:

Wednesdays – Sundays from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

LOCATION

Understudy, 890 C 14th St, Denver, CO 80202

RECEPTION:

Friday, June 8, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Soft Something is an immersive installation by Colorado Springsbased artist Matt Barton that blurs the boundary between a gallery, greenhouse, and sanctuary. Within the exhibition’s dynamic environment, viewers are positioned as participants – invited to relax, play, and explore the uncertain middle-ground between belief and cynicism. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

Matt Barton, Be It, 2012 Image courtesy of the artist


Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project ARTIST:

Carlos Frésquez

TITLE:

Alley Freshener

DATES:

June 15, 2018 through May 2019

LAUNCH:

Friday, June 15, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

LOCATION:

Off of the 16th Street Mall, between Stout Street and California Street

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. 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. Between Us is funded and maintained by Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

Carlos Frésquez, Denver,CO 2018 Image courtesy of the artist.


Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project ARTIST:

Kelly Monico

TITLE:

Alley Cats

DATES:

June 15, 2018 through May 2019

LAUNCH:

Friday, June 15, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

LOCATION:

Between Larimer Street and Market Street & 14th Street and 15th Street

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. 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. Between Us is funded and maintained by Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

Kelly Monico, Alley Cats, 2018 (studio detail) Image courtesy of the artist


Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project ARTIST:

Stuart Semple

TITLE:

I should be crying but I just can’t let it show

DATES:

June 15, 2018 through May 2019

LAUNCH:

Friday, June 15, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

LOCATION:

Off of the 16th Street Mall, between Champa Street and Stout Street

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. Squished between two buildings, Semple’s large-scale, yellow smiley face acts as a metaphor for human’s ability to persevere under pressure. By utilizing a universal symbol for “happiness,” this artwork is at once optimistic and playful. Between Us is funded and maintained by Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

Stuart Semple, I should be crying but I just can’t let it show, 2018 (studio detail) Image courtesy of the artist


Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project ARTIST:

Joel Swanson

TITLE:

Y/OURS

DATES:

June 15, 2018 through May 2019

LAUNCH:

Friday, June 15, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

LOCATION:

Off of the 16th Street Mall, between Curtis Street and Champa Street

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. In Swanson’s neon installation, “Y” in “YOURS” blinks on and off alternating between the embedded words “YOURS” and “OURS.” This artwork playfully questions how public space is defined through notions of personal property and ownership. Between Us is funded and maintained by Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

Joel Swanson, un/non, 2014, neon (detail) Image courtesy of the artist


Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project ARTIST:

Frankie Toan

TITLE:

Public Body

DATES:

June 15, 2018 through May 2019

LAUNCH:

Friday, June 15, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

LOCATION:

Off of the 16th Street Mall, between Stout Street and California Street

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. 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. Between Us is funded and maintained by Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

Frankie Toan, Many Portals to The Same Place, 2016 Image courtesy of the artist


JUMP (Bring Us Together) ARTIST:

Stuart Semple

DATES:

June 23 – June 24, 2018

TIME:

11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

LOCATION:

17th Street between Wynkoop Street and Wazee Street

JUMP (Bring Us Together) is a participatory artwork envisioned by British artist Stuart Semple that invites the public to jump on a largescale inflatable floor. Through the act of jumping, this unconventional art installation aspires to generate unexpected moments of joy and the freedom of self-expression. JUMP (Bring Us Together) is funded in part by McWhinney, Sage Hospitality, VISIT Denver, and the Downtown Denver Partnership. Additional thanks to CBS4. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

Stuart Semple, JUMP, 2013, inflatable sculpture (Melbourne, Australia) Image courtesy of Stuart Semple Studios


PROGRAMS

Happy City comprises a wide range of programming and activities intended to encourage discourse around the topic of “happiness� and its connection to well-being.


Happy Bikes Denver-based designer and illustrator, Dayna Safferstein, produced a series of Happy City bicycle wraps for B-Cycle, Denver’s bike share program. Safferstein’s playful, patternlike designs comprised of animals, food, and iconic Denver imagery depict the city as an ecosystem – a diverse community connected by place. The custom bikes will be available to anyone at any of the 89 B-stations throughout central Denver. DATES:

May 2018 – May 2019

LOCATION:

B-Cycle Stations

COST:

For rates visit denverbcycle.com

Ear to Ear: Beyond the Smile (Publication) “Ear to Ear” is a one-issue newsprint publication that investigates the concept of happiness through a myriad of perspectives – from scientific to poetic approaches.

RELEASE DATE:

May 18, 2018

LOCATION:

Available online at happycitydenver.com and in print at artwork installation sites


Happy Talks The Happy City initiative presents Happy Talks, a series of deeper conversations that explore the intersection of art, mental wellness, and civic participation. These casual talks will feature a larger, roundtable discussion amongst attendees, with special guests Charles Montgomery and Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

DATE:

May 22, 2018

TIMES:

6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

LOCATION:

Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Dr., Denver, CO 80204

GUEST:

Charles Montgomery

DATE:

May 24, 2018

TIMES:

6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

LOCATION:

Denver’s Union Station, Great Hall, 1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202

GUESTS:

Charles Montgomery and Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas


Happiness Unpacked - Panel Discussion What is happiness? Can a city be happy? And why? Furthermore, what choices can we make to maximize our own well­-being? This panel features guest participants awardwinning Canadian author Charles Montgomery and Emiliana Simon-Thomas Ph.D., the Science Director at the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Free, all-ages, and open to the public

DATE:

May 23, 2018

TIME:

6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

LOCATION:

Denver Art Museum, Lewis Sharp Auditorium 100 W 14th Ave. Pkwy., Denver, CO 80204

PANELISTS: Montgomery is recognized for his transformative experiments, conversations and stories about cities, science, and human well-being. He is the author of the award-winning book “Happy City” and founder of the consultancy of the same name. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., oversees the University of California, Berkley’s Greater Good Science Center, is a co-instructor of its Science of Happiness online course and helps manage its Expanding Gratitude project. Simon-Thomas is a leading expert on the neuroscience and psychology of compassion, kindness, gratitude and other “pro-social” skills.


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In addition to our programs, Happy City has partnered with numerous organizations in the Denver community as an initiative to cultivate relationships among local residents and inspire deeper conversations about the importance of wellness. These events can be found on the calendar and program section of our website: HAPPYCITYDENVER.COM


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ARTWORKS

1 – Emotional Baggage Drop (hello stranger), Stuart Semple 2 – Happy Clouds, Stuart Semple

3 – Baker-Miller Pink (billboard), John Roemer

4 – Animated Screens, Theresa Anderson, Milton Melvin Croissant III, Vince McKelvie, and Zach Reini

5 – Soft Something, Matt Barton

6 – Between Us: The Downtown Denver Alleyways Project, Carlos

Frésquez, Kelly Monico, Stuart Semple, Joel Swanson, and Frankie Toan

7 – JUMP (bring us together), Stuart Semple PROGRAMS & COMMUNITY PARTNER EVENTS A – Happy Bikes B – Happy Talks

C – Happiness Unpacked, Panel Discussion D – El Paseante

E – How To Measure The Weather, Emmanuel Gallery

F – Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with Happy Clouds G – 10,000 Smiles

H – Welcome! Come In! - The Doors Project

I – Mental Health Center of Denver Community Fish Fry


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HAPPY CITY DENVER .COM Produced by: Denver Theater District www.denvertheatredistrict.com www.facebook.com/denvertheatredistrict @denvertheatredistrict Artistic direction by: Black Cube www.blackcube.art www.facebook.com/BlackCubeNomadicMuseum @black_cube_nomadic_museum


THANK YOU : )


Happy City Denver Official Program Guide  

“Happy City: Art for the People” is a six-week, citywide art intervention with the purpose of breaking down personal, emotional and social b...

Happy City Denver Official Program Guide  

“Happy City: Art for the People” is a six-week, citywide art intervention with the purpose of breaking down personal, emotional and social b...